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I-Cubed celebrates expansion

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A small Raleigh company that sells engineering software and services has moved to bigger offices as it continues to hire.

Integrated Industrial Information, or I-Cubed, recently expanded into new space at N.C. State's Centennial Campus. The company now employs 38 people after adding 10 last year, and expects to hire at least 10 more this year.

This afternoon, company officials will show off the larger digs and then host a reception at the N.C. Museum of History to mark I-Cubed's 25th anniversary. Such festivities aren't unheard-of for Triangle businesses, but have become rarer during the recession.

"It's a nice way to slow down and reflect, but also to show appreciation for all the hard work that's allowing us to continue to grow," said CEO Donald A. Thompson Jr.

I-Cubed was founded in 1984 and became an employee-owned firm in 2006. Because it's private, I-Cubed doesn't release detailed financial results. But it's profitable. Revenue increased about 35 percent last year and Thompson expects similar growth this year.

The company delivers "high quality, price sensitive" products and services to customers, which allowed it to ride out the recession and reductions in IT spending during the past few years, Thompson said. Also, "we've always been very fiscally conservative. We never get to a point where our headcount outpaces our revenue targets."

Thompson will speak at tonight's party, which will include cocktails and appetizers. I-Cubed founder Grant Williard, who left the company when software giant Adobe bought some of its assets in 2005, is flying in from California.

The company has invited customers, family, and current and former employees, said Amie Thompson, the CEO's younger sister, who joined I-Cubed about six weeks ago.

I-Cubed recently moved to about 6,000 square feet at Centennial, slightly bigger than its previous space. And it's adding another 2,000 square feet in the next few weeks, Amie Thompson said.

"We keep outgrowing our space as demand grows and opportunities come our way," she added.

Her older brother became CEO when employees bought the company. Donald Thompson, 38, is the son for a football coach and attended East Carolina University on a football scholarship.

He's still an ECU fan, but his allegiances are titled heavily toward N.C. State these days. About 65 percent of I-Cubed's employees are Wolfpack alumni, and most of its new hires start as interns from the university.

"We like N.C. State because they are producing a very high caliber of graduate," he said. "We give them more opportunities early in their careers," which allows I-Cubed to compete for talent with Red Hat, Cisco Systems and other bigger companies that also recruit heavily at N.C. State.

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About the blogger

Assistant Business Editor Alan M. Wolf joined the N&O in 1999 covering the business of health care. He became an editor in 2001, and helps oversee the paper's daily business coverage and Sunday Work&Money section. He lives in Clayton with his wife and two children. Reach him at 919-829-4572 or e-mail him.