Spinoff success – Nonprofit gets windfall

A nonprofit that created for-profit enterprises to stimulate the Triangle’s economy has sold its spinoff company for $750 million, The News & Observer reports. 

MCNC is selling Cronos Integrated Microsystems, a year-old optical technology start-up company whose revenue was $10 million last year, to JDS Uniphase, one of Silicon Valley’s hottest networking companies.

The sale provides a much-needed boost to MCNC, the 20-year old nonprofit research center established in 1980 with a $25 million grant from the state legislature.

Hoping to attract high-tech companies to the state, the government has invested nearly $260 million in the research center. 

MCNC spun off Cronos last year and retained a substantial share of ownership, the N&0 reports.

CEO Bill Kress would not disclose the exact amount of MCNC’s windfall from the sale. 

MCNC, formerly called the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina, was subsisting on research grants as state funds dwindled and depended on the payoff potential of its spinoffs for its success, the N&O says.  

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