Your eyes might glaze over as you see page after page of listings in this issue. Where, oh where are the stories, you might well ask. What is going on here?
What: Once a year we offer a macro view of central New Jersey’s economy plus a micro view of what the hot companies are around here. And we call it the Progress Edition. How: We take each of the "on the move" articles published in the calendar year and organize them by type and business category. So for instance, we separate the stories about engineering firms from the ones about environmental firms. And then we do a second sort, by what happened to them. Did they expand? Start up? Or come to our territory from somewhere else? Why you might care: Analyzing all the statistics gives you a thumbnail view of what’s happening in the Princeton market. And if you don’t care about head-in-the-sky economics, maybe you just want to know where to go to find a job or sell a product. Or you need hard facts for your own firm’s business plan. For you, this issue works as a mini-directory.The Macro View: From year to year the statistics generally are numbingly similar. Rarely do we have significant variation in the
number of positive stories (expansions, new-in-towns, or start-ups) versus the negative stories (leaving town, downsizing, or out of business. But this year (is this an omen? or are we merely reading something into nothing?) seems different. In one area, finance, the positive signs show a marked drop.
Here’s what we found: The technical companies in general – including pharmaceutical, R&E, information technology, high tech manufacturing, medical products, and engineering – had a good year in the pages of U.S. 1, because our reporting on them increased by 25 percent. Buttressed by lots of positive stories on engineering and environmental companies in 2006, we printed 57 expansions, 21 new-in-towns, and 6 start-ups. The record for 2007 was remarkably similar – 56 expansions and 23 new-in-towns, but there were 13 start-ups.If you break out just the pharmaceutical and biotech companies, there were 33 positive reports in 2006, versus 27 in 2007. Looking at information technology alone, there were 33 pluses in 2006 and 45 in 2007. This year showed six expansions and six more start-ups. Meanwhile the liberal arts majors held up their end of the economy. Companies in these categories – communications, management consulting,
and personnel/human resources – had 30 positive articles in 2006 and 47 pluses in 2007. In comparison, 17 companies expanded in 2006 and 26 expanded in 2007.
But when we get to finance, optimism might dissolve. Finance is a huge category here, constituting nearly 10 percent of the companies in Central New Jersey. It includes everything from accounting and insurance to brokerage houses and information providers. In this category the 10 biggest firms employ more than 12,000 people.And the finance category showed a marked decrease in positive articles. In 2005 we had 45 growth stories – 25 expansions, 15 new-in-towns, and five start-ups. In 2006 the growth stories decreased to 39, and in 2007 they dwindled even more, with 30 growth stories – only 17 expansions, 12 new-in-towns, and just one start-up.Is this decrease in finance expansions the result of laggard reporting? We hope so. We hope that this gloomy analysis will turn out, next year, to look like it came from Chicken Little herself.
Overall though, statistics over the three-year period show hope. In 2005, overall, there were 274 positive stories, dropping to 249 in 2006, and jumping up to 280 in 2007.With this issue in hand, call up this article up on our website ( www.princetoninfo.com ) and make direct links to the companies’ websites – or to the articles we ran. Our "Search Our Archive" future is accessible by date, and each listing has a date. Now you have access to the same information as any savvy business reporter.
After reviewing the remains of the World Trade Center in 2002, John Romanowich spent four years developing a smart, flexible surveillance system in secret. But since he opened SightLogix on Alexander Road in November, 2006, things have been anything but quiet for the serial entrepreneur (U.S. 1, January 24, 2007).
SightLogix has secured contracts with the Department of Homeland Security, the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, plus several major utility companies around the globe, all of which have invested in his "smart camera technology." The system, which involves a wireless camera that can detect and follow motion and feed the information to any computer, has become the outdoor security system of choice for any entity with a large infrastructure to watch over.
While Romanowich is not surprised by the clientele – "The market is what we thought it would be," he says – there have been a few surprises that have worked in the company’s favor.
"We didn’t realize we would be able to provide night vision cheaper than lightbulbs," Romanowich says. He says he was surprised to learn that his system proved more cost-effective than cameras mounted on temporary fencing as well, though he knew SightLogix would be far more efficient than armed guards. "It’s been a really interesting ride," he says.
SightLogix/Automated Threat Detection, 745 Alexander Road, Suites 5 and 6, Princeton 08540. John Romanowich, president. Staff size: 8. 609-951-0008; fax, 609-951-0024. www.sightlogix.com , AlertCam surveillance systems for securing large outdoor areas and perimeters. Cover story in U.S. 1, January 24.
The growth Fulcrum Gallery, an online art gallery and dealershp, has seen in the past year took Doug Kerwin by enough of a surprise that the barely-30 CEO says the company was forced to quickly shift gears (U.S. 1, March 21, 2007).
"For a long time the focus was almost purely on growing the advertising," Kerwin says. "It was very much of the mentality, `just get the orders, we’ll figure out a way to handle it.’ Suddenly we became a big business and had to focus on treamlining our manufacturing process so we are handling this new volume of business in the most cost effective way. We’ve now made some major improvements in that area and I almost wonder how we got away with being so seat-of-the-pants for so long."
Kerwin and his partners, Rich Sbarro and George DiLorenzo formed Metaverse in 2002 and marketed back-end software systems for large websites. The venture drowned in the dot-com bust and led to a quick revamping as an online art gallery. Last year the focus changed again, this time to a planned marketing of custom search software built to optimize web searches.
"The focus is still very much on the online retail art business, but we’ve recently started down a new path to expand beyond the traditional means by which online retailers promote their site and spend their marketing dollars," he says. "Our software developers are working on taking the E-commerce platform we’ve built with FulcrumGallery.com and enabling it to be `skinable’ so that we can provide private label solutions to partner retailers who wish to sell art online but aren’t ready to make the sizable investment we’ve made in the technology and infrastructure required to compete online.
"Our partners program is set to launch this April and will enable businesses of all sizes to partner with us on a revenue share basis to sell our full catalog of art prints online, under their brand name, while we act as a silent partner in the background providing the technology, fulfilling the orders, and even handling customer service."
Fulcrum Gallery (Metaverse), 277 Whitehead Road, Hamilton 08619. Doug Kerwin, president. Staff size: 38. 609-689-6603; fax, 609-689-6608. www.fulcrumgallery.com, online retailer of art prints and custom framing. Cover story in U.S.
#h#e-Prep for SATs#/h#
Last summer Karl Schellscheidt, a tutoring guru, moved from a home office and also went live with his new video-based SAT prep product. Now he is combining both endeavors and is testing the idea of going nationwide with an online training program with onsite tutoring.Instead of doing the SAT tutoring in a classroom, or having students work individually online, Schellscheidt figures he can get the best of both worlds.
His eight-session, four-week live course costs $499, nearly half what the name brand review firms charge for live classes. Students work individually. When they miss a question, they can watch the video. If they still don’t understand, they get help from the onsite tutor. "Each will have a course tailored to him or herself," says Schellscheidt.
An alumnus of Princeton University, Class of 1990, Schellscheidt has a master’s in education from Seton Hall and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. "I’m one who believes that if you really try to learn the content and the lesson you WILL be better prepared for college. We say we are trying to do it the right way."ePrep Inc., 340 Wall Street, Princeton 08540; 609-924-2263; fax, 609-945-3127. Karl Schellscheidt. www.eprep.com.
Zuula, a meta search engine firm for the Internet that was featured on February 28, 2007, has recently expanded, moving from 3,000 square feet in 214 Carnegie to 4,440 square feet in Carnegie 103, where it occupies the same office as its sister firm, Light Management. Together they share 11 employees, says Boris Simkovich, founder and CEO of both firms. "Zuula has grown both through our audience and our users," says Simkovich, on the right in the photo above, with Tim Hunt.
"We have just added video search, the hot thing these days, and have added a toolbox for people to download to get access to Zuula services, and have added additional search engines. The result has been a fair amount of activity in the blogosphere and a lot of favorable press. Last year Princeton Public Library had us come in for a workshop and we would like to get out in the community more this year. In three to six months we will make some pretty significant additions in search functionality."
Zuula works with Google and other search engines to bring their customers easier access to varied search results. A search from the easy-to-use Zuula interface returns results from a number of search engines – both the big-name search engines and small, specialized search engines – in a tabbed format.
Light Management Consulting, a data-driven company, works with clients to determine how to price their products in such a way that they will be competitive, but at the same time will make an optimal profit. Clients come from a wide spectrum of industries, but many are in the high tech/IT field, and, more recently, in the pharmaceutical industry.
After majoring in nuclear engineering at Penn State, Class of 1985, Simkovich earned a PhD in economics from Harvard University. He says that, though he has had "a lot of requests" from venture capitalists, he is keeping his budget to the level of funding provided by his current set of angel investors.
Zuula, 103 Carnegie Center, Suite 106, Princeton 08540. 609-651-4790; fax, 609-651-4799. Boris A. Simkovich, president. Home page: www.zuula.com.
Light Management Consulting LLC, 103 Carnegie Center, Suite 106, Princeton 0854-; 609-651-4780; fax, 609-651-4799. Boris A. Simkovich, president. www.light-mc.com
#h#Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Warming & Storming#/h#
Stocked with some of the most advanced minds in the earth sciences, it was only a matter of time before the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory could connect itself, even if remotely, to a Nobel Prize (U.S. 1, March 14, 2007).
The scene was Paris, October, 2007, where the findings of 1,200 international scientists and three of the world’s most powerful supercomputers on the subject of global warming were revealed by the United Nations. The effort, which took about six years and concluded that people were "likely" the main reason for global warming, was part of the U.N.’s Fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The GFDL contributed one supercomputer and the brains of Ron Stouffer, V. Ramaswamy, and Isaac Held to the findings. Stouffer was one of the 27 scientists who interpreted them on behalf of the IPCC.The IPCC and Al Gore collected the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to "build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change."
While GFDL cannot lay claim to the prize itself, it did play a major role in collecting the information that would lead to the award. Stouffer did not get to attend the ceremony in Oslo, but he did get to attend one of two dinners held at the White House in recognition of the achievement. Elsewhere around the GFDL, the focus has shifted to the study of hurricanes. Scientists Gabe Vecchi, Brian Soden, and Tom Knutson all have written much-cited research into the nature of hurricanes and that has earned the notice of those removed from academic circles.
Hurricane research, Stouffer says, is the area of science that is evolving the fastest, and GFDL is staying at the fore of that research.
Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, 201 Princeton Forrestal Campus,
Box 308, Princeton 08542. Steve Mayle, business director. Staff size: 155. 609-452-6500; fax, 609-987-5063. www.gfdl.noaa.gov, earth systems mathematical modeling research, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. Reported in U.S. 1, March 14.
When Epocrates Inc., a California-based software technology firm, moved its Nottingham Way office in Hamilton to Windsor Corporate Park last year, co-founder Jeff Tangney said it was because the company wanted a more centralized location for its employees (U.S. 1, January 10, 2007).
"Establishing Epocrates’ East coast presence in the Princeton area has proven to be a wise choice," says Matt Campion, senior vice president of market research. "Our central New Jersey location sits in the `medicine cabinet’ of the country and simultaneously enables us to conveniently service our pharmaceutical partners and attract top human capital that are experienced in the healthcare sector."In 2008 our East coast office will continue to grow with the addition
of Customer and Technical Support staff as well as client service professionals that focus on our pharmaceutical and market research businesses."
The company is expanding its influence as well as its numbers. In February it launched a pair of mobile reference applications – a virtual medical dictionary allows healthcare workers to collect information through their mobile devices and a reference software designed to untangle billing codes from anywhere.
In July, Tangney and CEO Kirk Loevner were named Ernst & Young’s entrepreneurs of the year, and on January 7 Goldman Sachs partnered with Epocrates to co-market the latter’s market research services.Epocrates, 50 Millstone Road, Windsor Corporate Park, Building 400, Suite 100, East Windsor 08520. Matt Campion, senior vice president, market research. Staff size: 20. 609-632-1040; fax, 609-632-1050. www.epocrates.com, point of care medical reference information on mobile devices via the Internet, based in San Mateo, California.
Reported in U.S. 1 cover story, January 10.
R.J. Lewis expanded his firm to 3,000 feet last January and is already looking for more space. The nine-year-old firm is a vertical Internet advertising network dedicated to healthcare. It provides specialty online advertising opportunities for marketers of medical and pharmaceutical products who want to reach consumers, physicians, and other health professionals.
A graduate of the University of Delaware with an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University, Lewis says he has 11 employees now and plans to grow to 17 people by year’s end. His firm’s most recent deal is an exclusive contract to sell and deliver online advertising for www.familydoctor.com, owned by the American Academy of Family Physicians. The site offers disease content material in English and Spanish.
e-Healthcare Solutions Inc., 810 Bear Tavern Road, Mountainview Office Park, Ewing 08628. R. J. Lewis, founder and CEO. Staff size: 11. 609-882-8887; fax, 425-671-7796. www.e-healthcaresolutions.com,vertical Internet advertising network dedicated to healthcare. Reported in U.S. 1, January 10 and March 28.
Zweena, the personal health record firm, opened last year as the brainchild of John Phelan, the sole employee (U.S. 1, July 11, 2007).
Now it has four people working full-time, and additional five people (some part-time) working remotely, and it just expanded from 145 Witherspoon Street to 1,500 square feet at Everett Drive. Bill Barish of Commercial Property Network brokered the space. Phone and fax are the same.
Having registered its testing population, Zweena is beta testing its proprietary web-based method for storing personal health records. "We are making beta presentations to area employers, to encourage them to include Zweena’s online record capabilities in their benefit packages," says Phelan. "With Zweena, their employees would be more empowered in making healthcare decisions, and a the employers are definitely receptive."
The personal health records include information from doctors, hospitals, and copayment providers. Cost would not be a factor to the employee/consumer. "If the employee moves to another job, the employee could continue with Zweena," says Phelan.The staff includes Bill Hackett (former CFO of CareGain), David Jacobson (in charge of IT), Mitzi Cole (an attorney), and Frank Sonnenberg MD, the medical director. New are a grants writer, an information systems technologist, a registered health information technologist (Alisa Engel), and a registered nurse (Patricia Suttile) to answer consumer questions.
What’s the magic number that will make Zweena successful? Says Phelan: "Our goal is to get 10,000 employees."
Zweena, 51 Everett Drive, Suite A 80, West Windsor 08550; 609-651-4826. John Phelan. www.zweenahealth.com.
Halberd Match started out at the Trenton Business and Technology Center in 2005, but that center closed and last year he moved to 800 square feet on Bear Tavern Road. Now he has moved again, to more space on Parkway Avenue.
The founder, Michael Shpuntov, gained his citizenship two years ago, and when he incorporated, he Americanized his name, from Shpuntov to Shutt. He had started out trying to develop "smart guns" that would "know their owners," but now he has become more involved in software development and design for the defense industry.
Halberd Match Corp., 1230 Parkway Avenue, Suite 306, Ewing 08628; 609-882-7000. Michael Shutt, president. www.halberdmatch.com.
#h#Integra’s Regenerative Growth#/h#
It is perhaps fitting that the bread and butter of Integra LifeSciences Corp. rests in regenerative growth. In the past few years, it has charted a steady climb in its staff size, its reputation, and its revenue (U.S. 1, June 6, 2007).In 2007 Integra, located at 311 Enterprise Drive, posted more than $550 million in sales, raised its staff from 1,750 people to more than 2,200, and was named among Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry Magazine’s manufacturers of the year.
A major reason for such meteoric growth in all these areas lies in Integra’s acquisition policy, which does not merely buy companies, it incorporates and rebrands them. In 2007 Integra LifeSciences bought five companies, the most in a single year since 2002. The 2007 acquisitions began with the purchase of the DenLiteite Illuminated Dental Mirror from Welch Allyn in January, continued with the acquisitions of LXU Healthcare, manufacturer of the Luxtec brand of fiber optic surgical headlight systems, and Physician Industries, maker of pain management products for acute and chronic pain, in May.In October Integra Lifesciences acquired IsoTis, an orthobiologics company that developed bone graft substitutes that promote bone regeneration, and in December it acquired Precise Dental, producer of endodontic materials and dental accessories for $10 million.
Once a bit player in the neurosurgery field, Integra has caught the attention of Wall Street by increasing its adjusted earnings per share by 30 percent. It now has a market capitalization of more than $1 billion and has developed an expansive – and quite diverse – product line centered on the core concept of regenerative medicine and tissue. The company’s products have infiltrated far more than just burn treatment and trauma treatment fields. Integra LifeSciences has its hands in electrosurgery, sleep disorder treatment, plastic surgery, brain care, and dental surgery, among many more.
CEO Stuart Essig, on the left in the photo above, with chairman Richard Caruso, says the company will continue developing new products and expanding its diversity, a boast made credible by Integra’s recent ride to the top of the medical field and by the presence of 50 onsite specialists whose job it is to do just that. He attributes the success of the company in part to the cost-effectiveness of its product line.
Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation, 313 Enterprise Drive, Plainsboro 08536. Stuart M. Essig, CEO. Staff size: 360. 609-936-3600; fax, 609-275-5363. www.integra-ls.com , medical devices, implants, and biomedicine for treatment of cranial and spinal disorders, soft tissue repair, and orthopedics. Reported in U.S. 1, June 6.