RTP Startups


1950-2007-histogramvizThe images show the startup history of firms in the Research Triangle Park (RTP) area of North Carolina. The data was provided by Ted Zoller, assistant professor at Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC Chapel Hill.

For the purpose of these visualizations, firms are broadly classified into three categories; Information Technology (IT) – represented by blue objects or glyphs, Bio-chemical (Biochem) represented by green glyphs, and “Other” (i.e. non-IT and non-Biochem) represented by white glyphs.

The first image shows company births from 1950-2007, with the “Biochem” companies below the X axis, and the remaining above the X axis. A back plane shows the number of births for any given year.

1985_2007_all_firmsThe second image shows the companies arranged in a radial fashion with concentric circles representing periods of time. “Biochem” companies are positioned on the right half of the layout, while the remaining firms are on the left.

These images clearly show a spurt in company births beginning in the late 1990s and a consequent slowdown in births during the early part of the 2000s. The spurt and slowdown, however, are less pronounced for “Biochem” firms, especially when compared to “IT” firms.

Project Team

  • Sarat Kocherlakota
  • Michael Shoffner


Ted Zoller, Assistant Professor, Kenan-Flagler School of Business, UNC Chapel Hill


RTP Start-up Studies