Corrections or additions?
This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the September 4, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
N.J. Technology Fast 50
Growth — fast growth, category-stealing growth,
growth at all costs — was the mantra of the end of the decade
just passed, and the very beginning of this decade too. Fueled by
venture capital and soaring stock prices, a number of technology companies
did achieve dizzying growth. Global consulting firm Deloitte & Touche
honors the companies that grew revenues at the fastest rate during
the past five years, and that invested heavily in R & D during that
The firm’s Technology Fast 50 lists are compiled geographically, and
zero in on just 19 areas within the United States. New Jersey is one
of those areas, and nearby Delaware Valley is another. Just being
recognized as a hot bed of technology is an honor for New Jersey.
It joins three hot tech regions in California, Chicago, Virginia,
Washington State, and only 14 other states or regions. Even Massachusetts,
home of the famous Route 128 technology corridor, does not get its
own awards; it is lumped into a New England category.
After the tech gyrations calm down a little, it may be New Jersey’s
inclusion as a state that nurtures innovation that matters more than
what company was growing how fast in 2002. For though there was some
truly eye-popping growth — 293,493 percent at ITXC Corp. tops
the list — many of the fast growers are now devoting substantial
energy not to getting bigger still, but to surviving.
Some of the New Jersey Technology Fast 50 are private companies, others
are public. Both groups have suffered, but the second group has had
its humbling laid out in S.E.C. documents and stock charts for all
to see. Stock prices that hit — or surpassed — $100 a share
in the first days of 2000 are rarely as much as one-tenth of that
number now and some are counted in pennies. Reorganizations are ongoing,
as are staff reductions. S.E.C. documents detail the hunt for fresh
capital and list how much cash is left, and what measures are being
taken to make it last.
In the midst of this tech gloom, which has engulfed the hares as well
as the turtles, there are hopeful signs. Among the Fast 50 in the
Princeton area, there are companies that are gaining new business,
inking new R & D agreements with academic institutions, and rolling
out new products. Lessons have been learned. Now all that is left
is to wait out the economy.
Among the New Jersey Technology Fast 50 from the Princeton area:
08540. Founded 1992. Staff size: 10. Square feet: 8,000.
Founded in Belarus, Russia 10 years ago, Epam, a privately-held
computer consulting firm, was originally named Effective Programming
America. Number 24 on the Fast 50 list with five-year revenue growth
of 1,109 percent, it has enlarged its physical space too. It recently
moved from 3,000 square feet to 8,000 feet in Princeton Commerce Center.
Epam does consulting in sales force automation on PCs for various
industries, domestic and foreign. The programs are webcentric and
adaptable for Internet and intranet use (U.S. 1, June 16, 1999).
Most system development work occur’s in Epam’s facilities in Moscow
and Minsk. The company is involved in developing the Russian software
industry, and hires engineers in the former Soviet Union at what its
website terms "extremely reasonable rates."
Princeton Video Image
Lawrenceville 08648; computer hardware and software for video processing
for television advertising production. Founded 1990. Brown Williams,
chairman. Human resources: Judy Reed. Purchasing: Jeffrey Drobits.
Staff size: 60. Square feet: 25,000.
Princeton Video Image claimed the number 15 spot on the Fast 50 list
with five-year revenue growth of 2,100 percent. PVI is the company
responsible for the technology that generates now-you-see-them, now-you-don’t
virtual advertisements that viewers see behind batter’s boxes and
on soccer fields during televised sporting events.
After flying as high as nearly $15 a share, the company’s stock price
is now just over its 52-week low of 62 cents. On June 26, PVI announced
that Cablevision Systems Corp. had invested $5 million in convertible
debt in the company. In a press release, the company said that it
was especially pleased with this transaction "in light of the
current challenging financial markets" and that it continues to
be in "active discussions with other strategic partners to maximize
the future potential of our company."
For the second quarter, PVI reported revenue of $3.6 million, up from
$1 million a year ago, and a net loss of $3.5 million, compared with
a loss of $3.2 million in the second quarter of 2001.
In reporting these results to the S.E.C., the company announced steps
to "reduce expenses, eliminate redundancy in its operations, and
improve its financial performance." In July, it reduced its U.S.
workforce by 14 percent through a combination of layoffs and attrition.
During August, PVI is "instituting significant salary reductions
for most senior executives in order to reduce overhead."
On a positive note, on August 8 PVI announced that it had signed a
three-year agreement with the NFL to continue sale and insertion of
virtual advertising for all NFL International telecasts.
08534; strategic planning, design, integration, technical development,
and implementation of content management, E-marketing and E-learning
systems, also Internet, extranet, and intranet solutions, specializing
in pharmaceutical industry. Founded 1991. Debra Newton, CEO. Human
resources and purchasing: Tom Konstantynowicz. Staff size: 42. Square
Newton Interactive placed number 36 on the Fast 50 list with five-year
growth of 479 percent. The privately-held marketing company specializes
in interactive tools for the pharmaceutical industry. Its services
include website development, intranets, extranets, interactive sales
training, and strategic planning and technology infrastructure for
E-Learning and content management.
Princeton 08540; biopharmaceutical developing monoclonal antibody-based
therapeutics for cancer and other diseases, including the UltiMAb
Human Antibody Development System, with a multi-product Phase III
manufacturing laboratory in Annandale. Founded 1987. Donald L. Drakeman,
CEO. Staff size: 30. Square feet: 6,000.
Medarex, at number 23 on the Fast 50 list, grew its
revenues 1,209 percent over the past five years. The biotech develops
therapeutic products for cancer, autoimmune disease, and other diseases
based on proprietary technology in the field of immunology. A number
of therapeutic antibody product candidates using the company’s UltiMAb
Human Antibody Development System are in various stages of human trials.
Its preclinical development pipeline includes product candidates for
a variety of indications, such as oncology, autoimmune/inflammatory
diseases, and infectious diseases.
The company’s stock, moving along in the low single digits throughout
1998 and the beginning of 1999, ran up to almost $100 a share early
in 2000, before beginning to drop. The stock is now trading at about
$7 a share, just above its 52-week low of $6.10.
On August 14, Medarex reported second quarter revenue of $12.6 million
and a net loss of $17.9 million, or 24 cents a share. During that
quarter, the company decided to delay indefinitely the planned construction
of a large-scale manufacturing facility at its Bloomsbury location.
The company will seek third-party manufacturing agreements and expand
its existing clinical manufacturing facility in Annandale.
Despite a drop in its capitalization, the company has $402 million
in cash and cash equivalents on hand, and has upped its R & D expenditures,
from $4.5 million in the second quarter of 2001 to $18.4 million in
the second quarter of 2002.
08543; Production services and technologies of single nucleotide polymorphism
(SNP) scoring and genetic diversity analysis, also 30,000 feet at
303 College Road East. Founded 1995. Dale R. Pfost, CEO. Human resources:
Sarajane Mackenzie. Purchasing: Barry Lynn. Staff size: 130. Square
Orchid Biosciences sits at number 30 on the Fast 50 list with five-year
growth of 730 percent. The biotech develops and commercializes technologies,
products, and services designed to measure and analyze information
related to genetic diversity, or the genetic variability that distinguishes
one organism from another. It provides products and services for genetic
variability analysis for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, academic,
and agricultural applications.
On August 14 Orchid announced that revenue for the quarter ended June
30, 2002 was $16.4 million, an increase of $9.7 million as compared
with the year ago period. Net loss was $12.2 million as compared with
a loss of $14.3 million for the corresponding period in 2001. Research
and development spending was down, from $16.1 million in the quarter
ended June 30, 2001 to $12.5 million in the most recent quarter. The
decrease was due to a $2.1 million decrease in the purchase of laboratory
supplies and to a reduction in research personnel.
In reporting results for the quarter ended June 30 to the S.E.C.,
Orchid stated: "We expect our restructuring efforts in the second
quarter of 2002 and anticipated incremental restructuring efforts
during the third quarter to reduce further spending. We believe that
the result of these efforts, coupled with expected increases in both
revenues and gross margins in all of our business units, will enable
us to use our existing cash reserves to operate our ongoing business
activities over at least the next 12 months. However, we may need
to access the capital markets for additional funding for strategic
Orchid’s stock began trading in mid-2000 and quickly rose to $60 a
share. It hit a new 52-week low of 90 cents on August 5, and is now
trading at about $1 a share.
5350, Princeton 08543-5350; patented chemical screening libraries
for early drug testing and development. Founded 1993. Joseph A. Mollica,
CEO. Purchasing: Dennis Biunno. Staff size: 150. Square feet: 70,000.
Pharmacopeia is number 40 on the Fast 50 list with five-year revenue
growth of 399 percent. The company’s drug discovery business integrates
proprietary small molecule combinatorial and medicinal chemistry,
high-throughput screening, in-vitro pharmacology, computational methods,
and informatics to discover and optimize lead compounds. Its software
subsidiary, Accelrys, develops and commercializes molecular modeling
and simulation software for the life sciences and materials research
markets, cheminformatics and decision support systems, and bioinformatics
tools, including gene sequence analysis.
On August 6 the company announced a revenue increase of 8 percent
to $29.3 million for the second quarter and a loss of $5.1 million.
At the same time, it announced a restructuring through which it will
cut its staff by approximately 80 employees, a reduction of some 10
In its report to the S.E.C. on second quarter results, Joseph Mollica,
CEO, said that "over the last 12 months we have reduced costs
in the Drug Discovery unit, and improved its efficiency. In the software
division, while revenue grew, that growth was slower than we had previously
anticipated. Current market conditions require that we reduce our
headcount while both maintaining service levels and honoring our company’s
commitment to research and development."
Pharmacopeia’s stock price, which rocketed to nearly $100 a share
early in 2000, is now approximately $8 a share, at the low end of
its 52-week range of $5.99 to $19.32.
Ewing 08628; design of custom semiconductor chips for NASA and U.S.
Air Force, optical photoreceivers for telecommunications. Founded
1993. Abhay Joshi, owner & CEO. Human resources: Sharon Joshi. Staff
size: 26. Square feet: 14,000.
At number 33 on the Fast 50 list, Discovery Semiconductor has grown
591 percent in the past five years. A privately-held manufacturer
of optical receivers, the company states right up front, on its website
home page, that it is "fiscally conservative." It thereby
demonstrates how very fast the key buzz words in the tech industry
have changed. Where using cash to reel in market share with the single-minded
focus of a great white shark closing in on its prey was all the rage
just three years ago, the word "conservative" linked with
money management is suddenly a very good thing.
Discovery, founded in 1993, has fed its growth with Small Business
Innovation Research contracts. The company, which moved to new offices
in Ewing in May, has reinvested proceeds from commercial operations
into research, while attaining profitability. Its goal is to become
an independent Fortune 1000 company within five years.
Road, Pennington 08534; fiber coupling and packaging of fiber optic
devices. Founded 1993. Vladimir Ban, president. Human resources: Karen
Reid. Purchasing: Mary Kay Powers. Staff size: 60. Square feet: 15,000.
PD-LD came in at number 46 on the Fast 50 list with growth of 312
percent over the past five years. Founded in 1993, the privately-held
company manufactures for the optical communications, sensor, and medical
industries. Its products include fiber coupled coaxial lasers and
LEDs, high power pulsed lasers, CWDM Modules, and combiners.
The company received significant financing in 2000 and moved to new
facilities in March, 2001. It has photosensitive glasses under development
and is in joint development programs with Princeton University.
Boulevard, Ewing 08618; flat panel, full color OLED displays. Founded
1994. Steven Abramson, president. Human resources: Katerina Aggelikas.
Purchasing: Lily Khalif. Staff size: 30. Square feet: 21,000.
Universal Display Corp. is number 22 on this year’s Fast 50 list with
five-year revenue growth of 1,233 percent. The company, in conjunction
with Princeton University and the University of South California,
is engaged in the research, development, and commercialization of
Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology for use in flat panel
displays and other applications.
One technology application is based on the fabrication of transparent
cathodes. The company’s transparent cathode technology provides the
ability to develop transparent and high contrast displays using organic
materials. It also provides the ability to build OLEDs on opaque surfaces
or active matrix thin film transistors with a greater fill factor
and aperture rate.
For the quarter ended June 30, Universal Display reported revenue
of $455,026 and a net loss of $5,577,787. In a press release, Sidney
Rosenblatt, CFO, said of the results: "We continue to accelerate
our development activities, while maintaining a conservative approach
to our use of cash."
In August the company completed a direct offering to institutional
investors through which it raised approximately $6,038,323, according
to its most recent 10 Q filing with the S.E.C. In that filing it stated
that it has sufficient cash to meet its obligations through the end
of the current fiscal year.
On August 12 Universal announced two $100,000 Small Business Innovation
Research contracts by the U.S. Department of Energy to demonstrate
the feasibility of using its high-efficiency phosphorescent OLED and
flexible OLED technologies for general lighting applications.
In a press release, the company stated that "based on proprietary
technology developed for the flat panel display industry, Universal
Display and its research partners, Princeton University and the University
of Southern California, have identified several new approaches to
generate highly-efficient white light that may also open up significant
new opportunities in the general lighting industry."
Universal’s stock, which traded at over $30 a share in early-2000,
hit a new 52-week low of $4.89 on August 5, and is now trading at
about $6 a share.
750 College Road East, Princeton 08540; international Internet telephony
services carriers, wholesale call routing. Founded 1997. Tom Evslin,
CEO. Staff size: 185. Square feet: 70,000.
IXTC Corp., claiming top spot on the New Jersey Fast 50 Technology
list, grew nearly 300,000 percent in five years. It is a wholesale
telephone company that sends calls to and from over 150 countries,
operates a voice network called ITXC.net and carries calls between
telephone companies. Its customers are most of the largest fixed-line
and mobile telephone companies in the world, as well as many new competitive
The company has ridden the telecom wave of the past few years, way
up and then way down. It went public toward the end of 1999, and by
the beginning of 2000, its stock price was up over $100 a share. It
fell steadily throughout 2001, reaching a low of $2.25 in the spring
of that year. It now trades at about $4.10 a share.
Times are tough in the telecom industry, but ITXC remains hopeful.
On August 21 the company told analysts it expects 2002 revenue to
come in at $270 to $300 million. Losses are expected to totally 44
cents a share in 2002, but to drop to 3 cents a share in 2003. The
company expects to become cash flow positive by the end of that year.
In accepting the Fast 50 award, Tom Evslin, chairman and CEO of the
company, acknowledged the awful telecom climate, but said positives
include a good supply of talented workers. IXTC is taking advantage
of these stars, who were hard to find during the tech/telecom boom.
On August 14 it announced that it had hired Cynthia Artin as its vice
president of public relations. Artin last worked for Global Crossing.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.