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Piedmont Angel Network funds Greensboro tech firm

Sep 26, 2005, 12:00am EDT UPDATED: Sep 22, 2005, 9:25am EDT

Matt Evans
The Business Journal Serving the Greater Triad Area
Sensory Analytics, a Greensboro startup headed by former Frisby Technologies CEO Greg Frisby, and
Doug Young, co-founder is receiving a cash injection from the Piedmont Angel Network. The local
investment group would not reveal the amount of money involved, said fund executive director Lou Anne
Flanders-Stec. However, Frisby said that the company's total funding now exceeds $600,000, including
the PAN investment and other capital raised since the company opened less than a year ago. Frisby said
he had been planning to raise $400,000 in his first round of funding, and he's glad to have exceeded that
goal. "We're very excited and gratified based on the broad level of support and interest we've had," he
said. In a way, the depth of Sensory Analytics business can be measured in fractions of a centimeter -and that's what holds promise for those investors. The company's bread and butter is in exactly
measuring the thickness and color shade of coatings, be they on tiny electronics or huge airplanes,
advanced medical devices or plain old paint on drywall.
Such precise measurements allow users to reduce both wasted materials in over-applications and the
need to recoat under-applications, Frisby said. That wide range of potential customers, and a technology
that Frisby says improves on traditional methods of coating measurement, was attractive to PAN's
investors, according to Flanders-Stec. "They already have revenue and strong management," she said.
"Their technology is very unique and has some great potential. From an execution standpoint, the
prospects are very, very positive."
Frisby is familiar with both great potential and high expectations. His previous firm, Frisby Technologies,
was heralded as one of the great high-tech prospects for the Triad when he relocated that firm's
headquarters from New York to a 20,000-square-foot office in Winston-Salem in 1999. Frisby
Technologies went public and grew to more than 40 employees and $7 million in revenues at its peak,
selling branded temperature-regulating materials that went into clothing and packaging.
But stingy capital markets and anxious investors led to the company's downfall.
Frisby's board of directors fired him as CEO early in 2003, and the company filed for bankruptcy that
same week.
The part of that story Frisby likes is the fast growth, and he says that's what he intends to repeat with
Sensory Analytics. Though he and his partners, company Chairman Doug Young and Chief Technology
Officer Jody Price, will keep the firm private, Frisby said they have raised enough capital to fuel rapid
growth, even against big competitors such as Honeywell/Measurex. He also believes the technology,
which uses software and optical measuring techniques, is well-established in the market. Price invented
the technology and worked with companies as large as General Motors and JVC. Between Price's early
customers and those added since the formation of Sensory Analytics, there are about 150 installations
worldwide. "Normally when you start an entrepreneurial venture, there are a lot of variables you can't
control," Frisby said. "In this circumstance, a lot of the risk has been eliminated, and that's why we were
able to oversubscribe" the investment round. Frisby said he expects to have $1 million in revenues by the
end of the company's first year. He also expects to add to the firm's six current full-time employees, in
both the sales and technical support areas.
Closing PAN 1
Sensory Analytics is the 10th and final investment for the Piedmont Angel Network, which is now
organizing another fund, "PAN 2", Flanders-Stec said. Of the 10 companies in PAN's portfolio, five are
Triad companies, four are based elsewhere in North Carolina and one is in Charlottesville, Va.

Flanders-Stec said she could not disclose any financial specifics of those investments, which total just
over $4 million. One company, Kucera Pharmaceuticals, struggled in Winston-Salem and has since
relocated to Durham.
But Flanders-Stec said that "overall, the portfolio is doing very well at its stage of development and capital
deployment."
She said that PAN 2's fundraising goal will also be in the $4 million to $5 million range. It will build on the
lessons PAN learned about due diligence, of course, but may also be open to more deals with even
younger companies, she added.
"We are thinking about the fact that we are angels, not venture capitalists," Flanders-Stec said. "We may
be looking at some earlier stage deals than some of what we've done."