CHAPEL HILL, NC—The founders of Altometrics, Inc., have a goal that sounds simple: make the Internet faster. They want to speed up the performance of your favorite websites, prevent those frustrating slow-downs and enable richer Web services.
The young entrepreneurs recently received a big boost towards reaching their goal in the form of a $150,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation. The award comes with $30,000 in matching funds from the North Carolina Office of Science and Technology. Altometrics is the brainchild of Jeff Terrell, and Sir Robert Burbridge. Terrell, who recently earned his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, serves as the company’s CTO while Burbridge, a former software engineer at Cisco, is the CEO.
“This is huge for us,” said Terrell. “This means the two of us can focus on the business full time and we will be able to hire another employee. It means we will be able to take our products and services to market that much sooner.”
Altometrics is one of five startups that participated in the Carolina Launch Pad during 2010. The Launch Pad is a pre-commercial technology business accelerator aimed at helping UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, staff and students turn their technology innovations into viable businesses.
The Launch Pad is a joint effort of RENCI (Renaissance Computing Institute) and UNC’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business and Office of Technology Development (OTD). Each Launch Pad participant receives office space at RENCI for one year, including Internet access, storage space and phone. Launch Pad entrepreneurs also have the chance to interact with RENCI’s technical experts, work with RENCI communications staff to develop logos and websites, and receive advice and support from experts in the business school, OTD and the Triangle area business community.
Altometrics, which recently moved into its own office space in Durham, is developing a tool that will allow companies to effectively manage the performance of applications that run over networks—including cloud-based applications—that a growing number of businesses rely on. The company’s new data structures and algorithms will not only be able to track performance data but will also identify and diagnose server performance issues in cloud infrastructures without straining server resources.
“It’s a system that observes and profiles server performance even when those servers are in the cloud,” said Terrell, who began developing the new technology as his Ph.D. dissertation. “With more computing infrastructure moving to the cloud, we think the time is right for what we do. We hope to make the idea of cloud computing more prevalent by making the Internet run faster. In turn, that will allow businesses to save on IT expenses and put more resources into their core business concerns.”
In addition to continuing their product development, the Altometrics team plans to apply for a Phase II SBIR grant in 2011.
For more on Altometrics, visit the company website at http://altometrics.com.
RENCI applies advanced technology resources and expertise to problems identified by the state of North Carolina and to university research initiatives. Its research contributes to the development of next-generation technology infrastructure to serve research, business and education. Founded in 2004 as a major collaboration involving UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University and North Carolina State University, RENCI is an institute of UNC Chapel Hill with offices throughout the state. For more see http://www.renci.org.
For more on Carolina Launch Pad, see http://www.carolinalaunchpad.org.