Crosstown Moves

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This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the June 5, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

New in Town

Precision Instrument Corporation, 4 Chelten Way,

Trenton 08638. A.J. Phillips, president. 609-396-9810; fax, 609-396-9811.

An entrepreneur who has been quietly working in Trenton

in the former Hill Refrigeration complex is nearly ready to make a

prototype for an electrochemical sensor system that can do analysis

on lubricating fluids used in internal combustion engines. He expects

to finish beta testing, hire 20 to 25 more people, and go into production

— all in two years. Currently he has two on-site employees, including

a CFO, and two summer interns (a Harvard MBA and a chemical engineer

from the University of Delaware).

The son of a computer scientist and an accountant, Alan J. Phillips

started his first technology company shortly after graduating in 1988

from Radford University in Radford, Virginia. For his second firm,

he recently landed a five-year $450,000 loan from the Economic Development

Authority’s New Jersey seed capital program. The company also had

$250,000 from the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology.

Phillips, who is single, bootstrapped his first company 10 years ago

and has been working in stealth mode in Trenton for a year. This company

is an indirect descendant of EG&G Princeton Applied Research, which

moved from the old building at 7 Roszel Road to Tennessee in 1988.

"An employee from that company came to my home to demo some equipment,"

says Phillips, "and that parlayed into my chief scientist and

two analog design engineers."

"We have tangible products, and we have tangible customers, yet

I am having to pay the price of the Internet’s downfall in terms of

my valuation," says Phillips. "I don’t agree with that, but

that is what we are up against."

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Crosstown Moves

Bargain Books & Music, 116 Tices Lane, Unit B 2,

East Brunswick 08816. 845-783-9877; fax, 845-774-7665. Home page:

The former home of Bargain Books and Music was the Princeton Shopping

Center, but the Princeton Public Library now occupies that space during

its construction period. The discount bookstore has moved to East

Brunswick, where it is now open on Saturdays and Sundays.

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