RALEIGH–Redundant Networks, a provider of Web-hosting and network services, has scaled back its operations in Raleigh and Reno, Nev., to slash its burn rate and look for a potential buyer. The 24-employee company has trimmed its staff to four employees in both Reno and Raleigh.

“We scaled back operations very drastically,” says Janice Fetzer, chief operating officer and general manager of Redundant Networks,” because we wanted to present to possible acquirers a bare bones operation, so that they can apply their own model instead of inheriting ours.”

There’s a possibility the buyer may be interested in keeping the remaining employees, adds Fetzer.

All customers have been notified of the changes and potential transition. “The customers are doing fine,” says Rob Smith, director of sales at Redundant. “They’re sitting tight, because they want to see the facility make it.”

The company is in the process of speaking to three or four serious parties, says Fetzer. “It looks like it’ll be easier to do a site acquisition than a full company acquisition, so it’s more likely the two sites will be separated.”

But, says Smith, there are national prospects that are interested in the entire organization.

The separation of the sites won’t pose a problem to many customers, Fetzer says, because the company has only two customers that are utilizing both sites.

Redundant Networks was founded in 2001 by a group of real-estate angel investors. The investors have now reached the end of their financial commitment. Company officials declined to disclose the amount of funding that Redundant has received.

Despite the company’s strong pipeline of customers, chief financial officers were dragging their feet and waiting for quarterly results before agreeing to any more discretionary spending, says Fetzer. Discretionary spending on business solutions, which is what we’re selling…not rack space…isn’t going to improved over the next two to three quarters. Two to three quarters is longer than we wanted to go on. But, the people who pick up the data centers can still pick up that pipeline.”

Smith, however, sees a brighter side. “The market is very prime and ripe. Even in the midst of our reduction, we have received many business inquiries and some contracts.”

Redundant built its state-of-the-art data center in Reno with the help of Fetzer, who spent five years at the now-defunct Web-services giant Exodus Communications. She says the company built it for a third of the cost that Exodus had spent developing similar facilities. Meanwhile in Raleigh, Redundant paid bargain basement prices for a facility built by Relera, when the company shut its doors.

Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State get $1.2M NSF grant

Researchers at Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and NC State University have received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to explore new ways to fabricate electronic circuits for computing.

These new techniques to fabricate electronic circuits for computing employ a bottom-up approach instead of the current top-down lithography approach, says Alvin Lebeck, associate professor of computer science at Duke University and head principal investigator of the NSF grant. “We’re looking at using DNA to create nanostructures to place small nano-electronic components.”

Although transistors have continued to shrink in size over the years, researchers have hit the limit with the current fabrication techniques. That’s why the three universities are exploring alternatives. “[With the new approach], you get a large number of transistors per square centimeter,” says Lebeck. “You gain two to three orders of magnitude in density.”

There’s also a potential cost savings in this type of fabrication because currently, it costs billions to construct one of these fabrication facilities, he adds.

The research brings together computer scientists, chemists, physicists, biochemists and electrical engineers from the three universities. From devices to infrastructure, they’ll explore what effects the use of DNA will have on computer architectures.

The 2004 Conference for Entrepreneurs

Business Leader’s Conference for Entrepreneurs has a new format and location. The annual conference is being held Saturday, March 6, at the Capital City Club in Raleigh. The event will include four sessions, two in the morning and two in the afternoon, and will feature presentations by successful entrepreneurs. Panel discussions, with opportunities to ask questions, will follow each presentation. Topics include building and maintaining high performance teams, growing your business without going out of business, and finding and turning your company over to your successor and marketing and successfully competing against large competitors.

Tickets are $65 and cover the cost of all speaker sessions, keynotes and lunch. For more information, go to www.businessleader.com/conference, or call Vera Simms at 919-872-7077 ext.103.

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