What do Triangle-based entrepreneurial companies Phononic and Humacyte have in common with Uber, Airbnb and 23andMe? They are members of the just-published 2016 CNBC “Disruptor 50” list.

Phononic, which is based in Durham came in at No. 18.

Humacyte placed 37th.

While based in the Triangle, they are very different. Phononic focuses on solid-state cooling and refrigeration while Humacyte is developing bioengineered blood vessels.

They both, however, have been very successful in raising funding. Humacyte raised $150 million in 2015 and Phononic landed $40 million in December 2014.

Uber took the No. 1 spot.

CNBC selected private companies in 15 industries for the fourth such list. These firms are “revolutionizing the business landscape. These forward-thinking starts-ups have identified unexploited niches in the marketplace that have the potential to become billion-dollar businesses, and they rushed to fill them,” CNBC says.

Here’s some of what CNBC had to say about the Triangle firms:

18. Phononic

“Quiet cool”

  • Founder: Tony Atti
  • Launched: 2009
  • Funding: $90 million
  • Valuation: $183.2 million

“Durham, North Carolina-based Phononic is a semiconductor manufacturer that has developed a new, solid-state cooling and refrigeration technology that can replace older, less-efficient refrigeration systems. Right now the company is selling medical refrigerators that are used in labs and hospitals, but later this year it will enter the consumer market.”

Read the profile at:


37. Humacyte

“A bioengineered blood vessel”

  • Founders: Dr. Laura Niklason, Juliana Blum, Shannon Dahl
  • Launched: 2004
  • Funding: $199.8 million
  • Valuation: $297 million

“Humacyte is a medical research and regenerative medicine company that claims to have created the world’s first bioengineered blood vessel. The product is called Humacyl, and if approved by the Food and Drug Administration, it could potentially eliminate the surgeries needed to resection a patient’s existing blood vessels in procedures such as coronary artery bypass surgeries. The Humacyl bioengineered blood vessel can be used instead.”

Read the profile at:


For the entire Disruptor 50, see: