If you are looking for potential investments or possibly a place to find a job, the Council for Entrepreneurial Development has a list of possibilities.

The CED and the Edward Lowe Foundation have named their “North Carolina Companies To Watch” for 2011, and 25 startups – companies identified as “second stage” – made the list.

Firms were selected from among more than 200 nominees and must have between 6-99 employees with revenues or funds raised from investors, grants and partnerships of between $750,000 and $50 million. All areas of the state are represented by the winners, the CED said.

The group will be honored at an awards ceremony in Durham on Sept. 21. This is the second time CED and the foundation have picked such a list.

The 2011 “North Carolina Companies to Watch” are:

• Bennett Aerospace, Inc.
• BioAgilytix Labs
• BioResource International, Inc.
• Chimerix, Inc.
• Dorsett Technologies, Inc.
• Dry Corp, LLC
• Emergency Technologies, Inc.
• Expression Analysis
• Figure Eight Technologies
• FLS Energy
• Geomagic
• Hickory Nut Gap Farm
• Ignite Social Media
• Jackrabbit Technologies
• K3 Enterprises, Inc.
• LoneRider Brewing Company
• MercuryGate International
• Moog Music, Inc.
• Replay Photos, LLC
• Riley Life Logistics
• Skookum Digital Works
• Southern Energy Management
• Spoonflower
• TransLoc, Inc.
• Varrow, Inc.

“These companies exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit that leads to success in the marketplace even during challenging economic times,” said CED President Joan Siefert Rose in a statement.
According to Rose, the firms have grown revenues at an average rate of 32 percent between 2007-2010 and added jobs at a rate of 36 percent.

“Our research confirms that second-stage companies are the champions of sustainable job creation,” says Penny Lewandowski, director of entrepreneur development at the Edward Lowe Foundation in a statement. “They are continuously adding employees, creating five, 10 or 15 jobs each year. When you look at the cumulative effect of this type of job creation, it is significant, making these companies powerhouses when it comes to economic growth. And, in addition to keeping people employed, second-stagers are setting trends in innovation and discovery. Recognizing and serving them is a key economic development strategy.”

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