HEAD­QUAR­TERS: Durham, North Carolina FOUNDERS: Tony Atti (CEO), Pa­trick Mc­Cann, Matt Tre­vithick EM­PLOY­EES: 140

Backed by nearly $200 mil­lion in ven­ture cap­i­tal, Phononic spent the past decade per­fect­ing small ther­mo­elec­tric chips that can replace bulky me­chan­i­cal compressor­s for heat­ing and cool­ing ap­pli­ca­tions, such as cool­ing the del­i­cate elec­tron­ics that han­dle telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions data, de­mand for which has surged as more peo­ple work re­motely. Atti, 46, a for­mer NASA sci­en­tist, says that “Covid ac­cel­er­ated, if not tur­bocharged” ar­eas his busi­ness was tar­get­ing, such as 5G adop­tion. More cus­tomers are or­der­ing Phononic’s por­ta­ble cool­ing sys­tems to han­dle the food-de­liv­ery surge. Mean­while, an­tic­i­pated de­mand for Covid-19 vac­cines and treat­ments means that health-care re­frig­er­a­tion man­u­fac­tur­ers like Thermo Fisher have in­creased or­ders for Phononic’s chips. Rev­enue should dou­ble to $20 mil­lion in 2020.

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