The News & Observer
December 23, 1995
Skilled workers lure firm
David Ranii, Staff Writer
Copyright © 1995, The News & Observer
A start-up software company with high growth potential has
decided to move to the Triangle from Troy, N.Y., because of the
area's skilled labor force.Used with permission.
Optimum Technologies Inc. is the first company attracted to
the state by Bill Williams, a Department of Commerce recruiter
who was hired in November to focus on entrepreneurial companies.
Optimum, which has 10 employees and expects to hire 30 to 40
people during the next 12 months, is negotiating for office
space in Morrisville. Even if those negotiations fall through,
however, the company is committed to moving to the Triangle,
said Siu Shing Tong, the company's chief executive and
Optimum is developing software that it says will
significantly reduce the engineering design time required for
electrical and mechanical components by automatically testing
different designs and determining which one is best. Eventually,
the technology in the company's ISIGHT software could be applied
to a wide range of complex business decisions, such as financial
investments, Tong said.
"The market potential is very large," he said.
Williams said that Optimum is just the kind of start-up
company the state wants to attract: a potentially high-impact
company with leading-edge technology.
Optimum was ready to move to Virginia Beach, Va., when the
Commerce Department and MCNC stepped in and started to sell
North Carolina, Tong said. The company was so enamored with the
area's work force that it opted for the Triangle even though
Virginia offered incentives worth more than $200,000 and North
Carolina offered no incentives.
"That is a reflection of how impressed I am with your city,"
The only thing that could stop Optimum from moving here is a
failure to find suitable office space in what is an extremely
tight real estate market.
Tong and co-founder David Powell previously worked in General
Electric Corp.'s research and development laboratory, where they
helped develop a precursor to ISIGHT called Engineous. Engineous
was used to design a turbine for the engine used in the Boeing
777, Tong said.
ISIGHT is in beta testing - testing done by a small group of
customers - and should be ready for sale in about six months,
Tong said. ISIGHT is being designed for use on both workstations
and personal computers.
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reproduced, translated, or transmitted in any form or by any means without
permission in writing from The News & Observer.
Copyright © 1995, The News & Observer.
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