The most consistent aspect of the high tech industry in the last year is its lack of consistency.

It’s never all or nothing. Each week LTW reports a mix
of good and bad news for area companies, matching a venture deal with a series of layoffs, a new-business win with a NASDAQ de-listing. Last week was no exception.

The two big blows last week came in the form of layoffs – SquareD announced it would slash its Knightdale, N.C. workforce, while Sprint PCS announced the dissolution of 2,100 jobs, giving creedence to the buzz that even at this stage of the game, the high-tech layoffs are still not finished. In other bad news, SpectraSite filed for banktruptcy.

On the flip side, however, the venture stalemate finally blinked. After a sluggish fall, there were finally a number of new deals to talk about: a $9 million first round to GuardedNet, an Atlanta network security firm; YellowBrick closed on $3.9 million; Atlanta’s IQStat won $2 million in support of its radio listening habits monitoring service; and Boston-based Dynogen, a pharmaceutical firm that grew out of the work by a Duke professor and which is building a research lab in Durham, landed a $13 million first round.

The uptick in venture deals is heartening, particularly when viewed in relation to a number of other positive moves made by area companies. There were new business wins (for MCNC, FullSeven, Numerx, Summus, SAS, and ASI among others) that reached the millions, expansion to new locations (for Womble Carlyle and Peak 10), and even acquisitions (by LabCorp and oddly enough, Scientific-Atlanta, a company that just recently laid off a significant portion of its staff).

Despite the layoff announcements, the past week in the local high-tech industry demonstrated the sector’s ability to pick itself up, dust itself off, and continue to march forward. Times are still turbulent, but many companies seem to be willing to take a risk.

“Economic times are tough, so companies look very closely at your work. A few years ago, they?d just write you a $5 million check – now they want actual benchmarking and scrutinize the data.” -Ken Gonsalves, the Celanese Acetate Distinguished Professor of Polymer Chemistry at UNC Charlotte.

“Once the door is opened, all of us will be able to do things with our computers we couldn’t do before. Performance will increase by magnitudes.” – Mark Wdowik, director of UNC Charlotte?s the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT)

“If I tell you everything we?re working on, I?d have to shoot you.” – Dave Rizzo, chief executive officer at MCNC

November 15: SpectraSite Makes Bakruptcy Filing Official, also Sells Back Some Towers

November 15: Bank of America Chooses Sprint for Major Network Upgrade

November 14: Twin Killing? ‘Jumpstart’ Could Boost Intel Capability, Boost Networking

November 14: Coming Out Party for Peak 10: Hosting Firm Opens RTP
Operation With Eight Customers Already Signed

November 13: Secret’s Out: MCNC Team Gets $1.35M Contract for ‘Optical Burst? Project

November 13: 360Traffic Expands Web Offerings With ‘Total Portal

November 13: Startup Nanoresist Finds New Use for Polymers: Increasing PC Power

November 12: Durham-Based ASI Wins Projects Worth $8 Million


November 15: Pharma Firm Based on Work by Duke Professor Lands $13M First Round

November 13: MoliChem Wins Patent for Means of Treating Septic Shock

November 12: LabCorp Moves To Acquire Cancer-Genomic Diagnostic Firm


November 12: Atlanta Network Security Firm Grabs $9M First-Round


November 13: Knitting an Alliance: Textile Institute To Move to Raleigh, Will Work With NCSU College of Textiles

November 12: Womble Carlyle Creates Western NC Presence as
Entrepreneurial Climate Improves

November 15: Want Your Business To Survive? Don?t Sell R&D Short and Foster ‘Culture of Competition,’ Exec Says?

November 12: Keeping Score for Tech on Election Day: Who Really Won Anything?

November 12: Executive Suite Battle, Round 2: Quintiles Says No to
Founder Gillings


November 15: IQStat Tunes in $2M Funding Round To Launch Radio Listening Habits Monitoring Service

November 13: Numerical Design Ltd. Named Top Award Finalist, Looking to Expand