The 30 Top Companies In Durham To Keep an Eye On

Written by Sunny Betz
The 30 Top Companies In Durham To Keep an Eye On
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Rose Velazquez | Apr 05, 2024

North Carolina’s Research Triangle has always been a leading hub of creativity and genius in tech and beyond, with good reason. Home to colleges like North Carolina State University and Duke University, the Raleigh-Durham area boasts an unparalleled community of emerging tech-minded professionals, and that talent pool has given rise to an exponential growth of tech jobs and startups in the region. 

Durham in particular has enjoyed recognition across the country for its growing tech economy, even being named “the Startup Capital of the South” by CNBC. Part of the reason why Durham has become such a haven for founders, besides its diverse talent pool and low cost of living, is because of the city's commitment to fostering economic infrastructural development. After purchasing the unused American Tobacco processing facility in 2000, the Capital Broadcasting Company has transformed the building into office and retail spaces for the city's entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to share their ideas and embark on new projects. This spirit of progress and ingenuity makes it clear why, today, over 300 startups call downtown Durham home.

Durham’s startups may be making headlines, but the Research Triangle boasts a tradition of supporting top-tier performers in the tech world. Check out the most advanced companies in Durham that illustrate the city’s long history of innovative thinking.

Top Companies in Durham

  • FHI 360
  • Cree
  • Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions
  • Marken
  • Measurement Incorporated
  • Parata Systems
  • Cenduit
  • Emergys
  • Lenovo


Founded: 2021

Focus: Aerospace

What they do: Sierra Space focuses on developing technology to support space commercialization. From spaceplanes to satellites and propulsion systems, Sierra Space aims to advance space transportation, exploration and business opportunities. The company is also preparing to offer astronaut training for low-Earth orbit missions through its Human Spaceflight Center. 

Number of employees: 1,001 - 5,000 employees


Founded: 2000

Focus: Cloud, IT 

What they do: Employees and customers both expect seamless interactions, and Avaya is surpassing those expectations with its Total Experience platform. Avaya OneCloud harnesses cloud and AI technology to craft effortless communications. If teams want to make upgrades, they can rely on a community of Avaya Experience Builders to execute those changes. Leaning on Avaya’s cloud platform, employees can perform at a higher level and deliver exceptional customer experiences.  

Number of employees: 14,600+


NetApp Largest Companies Durham

Founded: 1992 

Focus: Big Data, Cloud, IT 

What they do: Companies need to become more agile to remain competitive, so NetApp is helping organizations transition to public and hybrid cloud environments. Along the way, the company works with clients to simplify data and implement security precautions. Partnerships with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud allow NetApp to offer the most up-to-date cloud solutions while tailoring its approach to different businesses.   

Number of employees: 12,800+


Avalara Largest Companies Durham

Founded: 2004 

Focus: Software 

What they do: Taxes are often the bane of many businesses, which is why Avalara is reducing stress with its cloud-based tax compliance software. Avalara compiles data on tax rates and rules within every jurisdiction, so companies don’t have to worry about any red tape. As a result, Avalara is giving small, mid-size, and large businesses peace of mind once it comes time to file their taxes. 

Number of employees: 3,200+


Align Technology Largest Companies Durham
Align Technology

Founded: 1997

Focus: Biotech, Healthtech

What they do: Align Technology is giving patients and dental practitioners plenty to smile about with its industry-leading medical products. For patients with crooked teeth, the Invisalign system provides a clear and customized fit that accommodates each individual tooth. Meanwhile, iTero intraoral scanners help practitioners diagnose and treat a range of health concerns. Overall, Align Technology helps take the chore out of visiting the dentist.

Number of employees: 10,000+


Hillrom Largest Companies Durham

Founded: 1915 

Focus: Biotech, Healthtech 

What they do: To enable caretakers to provide more comprehensive care, Hillrom is fashioning technology for the hospital room and beyond. The company offers surgery beds, communication tools, and maintenance services. Once patients begin the recovery process, healthcare professionals can rely on Hillrom’s wearable therapy products to monitor each patient’s progress. Keeping doctors and patients connected, Hillrom is enhancing experiences within the healthcare industry. 

Number of employees: 10,000+


Xylem Inc. Largest Companies Durham
Xylem Inc.

Founded: 2011 

Focus: Biotech, IT 

What they do: Water is a vital resource, and Xylem Inc. is developing better ways to manage this necessity. Focusing on digitization, Xylem has crafted the Xylem Vue platform to streamline water management. Companies can leverage digital insights to monitor pipelines, take the burden off wastewater networks, and encourage consumers to restrict their water use. Because of this mindfulness, agriculture, shipping, and other industries are reaping the rewards of Xylem’s water solutions.  

Number of employees: 10,000+


bioMérieux Largest Companies Durham

Founded: 1963 

Focus: Biotech 

What they do: Serving more than 160 countries, bioMérieux has become a global leader when it comes to in-vitro diagnostics. The organization maintains high standards for its antimicrobial efforts, C. difficile management, and lab testing. To ensure tasks are executed flawlessly, bioMérieux provides skills training for its local teams. No matter where in the world bioMérieux is operating, customers can expect the same quality of products and best practices.  

Number of employees: 8,600+


Epic Games Largest Companies Durham
Epic Games

Founded: 1991

Focus: Gaming 

What they do: Most people may know Epic Games as the creator of Fortnite, but the company’s roots in the gaming industry run deeper than a single product. Developers have come to rely on Unreal Engine, which brings ideas to life with real-time 3D technology. In addition, Epic Online Services allows creators to distribute games across various platforms. By supporting developers and creators, Epic Games has established itself as a gaming hub where innovation thrives.  

Number of employees: 5,500  


Genesys Largest Companies Durham

Founded: 1990 

Focus: AI, Cloud, Software 

What they do: Because consumers have come to expect efficient and empathetic customer service, Genesys has responded with a comprehensive cloud platform. Teams now have the ability to anticipate customer needs and carry on conversations via phone, email, text, chat, and other platforms. As a result, businesses can better address each customer’s needs in a timely fashion with the tools of Genesys.   

Number of employees: 6,700+  


Nutanix Largest Companies Durham

Founded: 2009 

Focus: Big Data, IT, Software 

What they do: Nutanix is breaking down the complexities of the cloud and making cloud management a breeze. Rather than navigate between multiple systems, teams can wield Nutanix’s hybrid multi-cloud platform to centralize their platforms and data. This approach streamlines different tasks and removes the headaches of data security, so companies can focus more energy on growing their businesses. 

Number of employees: 6,700+


Garmin Largest Companies Durham

Founded: 1989 

Focus: Consumer Web 

What they do: More and more people are finding their ideal environment, thanks to the tools of Garmin. Intricate navigation technology defines the Garmin brand, which crafts wearables, smartwatches, stationary GPS devices, and satellite communicators, to name a few. Whether customers are planning off-road trips or routes through the city, they can maintain their sense of direction with Garmin’s devices.  

Number of employees: 7,200+ 


Lenovo Largest Companies Durham

Founded: 1984 

Focus: Hardware, IT, Software 

What they do: As the world undergoes a digital transformation, Lenovo is leading the way with a broad lineup of products. Professionals have come to depend on the company’s state-of-the-art laptops, desktops, and workstations for maximum productivity. However, Lenovo also supports recreational activities with its intuitive tablets and gaming systems. With products catering to every aspect of daily life, Lenovo is making even the most advanced technology feel familiar for consumers.

Number of employees: 40,900+


IQVIA Largest Companies Durham

Founded: 2016 

Focus: Healthtech 

What they do: Healthcare processes remain sluggish, but IQVIA is transforming the industry with a tech-first approach. Addressing daunting challenges with AI and analytics, IQVIA is enabling teams to organize scattered information into simplified data sets, automate repetitive tasks, and conduct virtual and hybrid trials. With these updated methods, healthcare professionals can gather insights faster while still delivering personalized care.   

Number of employees: 61,000+


Cree Companies in Durham NC

Founded: 1987

Focus: Semiconductors

What they do: Cree is a nationally recognized leader in the semiconductor industry, engineering radio frequency technologies and LED products built for integration in outdoor lighting installations, video displays, electric vehicles, power supplies and other products. Cree's mission is to help the world leverage silicon carbide and GaN technology to become faster and more efficient, powering the transition to sustainable energy and G-Technology among other initiatives.

Number of employees: 2,800+


RelatedView Tech and Startup Jobs in Raleigh


Blue Cross NC Largest Companies Durham
Blue Cross NC

Founded: 1933 

Focus: Healthtech 

What they do: Blue Cross NC is ensuring every North Carolinian accesses the resources they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The not-for-profit company showcases an extensive provider network, affordable medicare plans, and efficient digital features. Patients can pay bills and download files through the Blue Cross NC website. For those constantly on the go, Blue Cross NC lets patients handle healthcare needs with the Blue Connect mobile app.  

Number of employees: 5,000+  


bluebird bio Largest Companies Durham
bluebird bio

Founded: 1993

Focus: Biotech 

What they do: Although some people view serious diseases as permanent, bluebird bio is pushing back against this narrative with its gene-focused solutions. As a gene therapy leader, bluebird bio treats conditions like Sickle Cell Disease by introducing new genes or editing current ones. These procedures require trust on the part of patients, but bluebird bio is building stronger relationships by supporting advocacy groups and organizations.

Number of employees: 1,200+


FHI 360 Companies in Durham NC
FHI 360

Founded: 1971

Focus: Education, International Development

What they do: FHI 360 combines technological expertise, social science, educational services and a range of other tools to support human development across the globe. Focusing on economic development, environmental protection, healthcare and other social issues, FHI 360's team offers solutions like creative design, data analysis, behavioral change assistance and research services to communities looking to better support their people.

Number of employees: 6,000+


Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions Companies in Durham NC
Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions

Founded: 2012

Focus: Retail Technology

What they do: Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions is an international technology company specializing in the development of software for use in retail stores. From point-of-sale systems to self service kiosks, Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions helps stores of all kinds adopt cutting-edge technologies to optimize their entire enterprise.

Number of employees: 1,700+


Marken Companies in Durham NC

Founded: 1980

Focus: Logistics

What they do: Marken's team develops solutions that support the supply chain networks that connect healthcare organizations and pharmacists with their patients. From initial clinical testing to distribution, Marken offers comprehensive supply chain management technologies to help organizations along every step of their operations, providing biological specimen transport, GMP storage, international clinical drug transport and test kit building.

Number of employees: 900+


Measurement Incorporated Companies in Durham NC
Measurement Incorporated

Founded: 1980

Focus: Education

What they do: Measurement Incorporated develops testing and educational assessment technologies for governments, learning institutions and other organizations that include scoring and testing among their essential operations. The company provides technologies and services like automated essay scoring, online testing, certification programs and policy evaluation to help organizations better hone their performance testing operations.

Number of employees: 900+


Parata Systems Companies in Durham NC
Parata Systems

Founded: 2001

Focus: Automation

What they do: Parata Systems gives pharmacies across the country the opportunity to adopt high-tech robotics and automation tools to quickly connect their patients with essential medications. From patient experience enhancement to vial filling and workflow optimization, Parata Systems offers its clients a holistic portfolio of technologies built to meet their every need. 

Number of employees: 500+


Cenduit Companies in Durham NC

Founded: 2007

Focus: IT

What they do: Cenduit serves clients in the pharmaceuticals and healthcare industries by providing them with a drug supply management software built to make recruitment for testing and trials more successful. The company's interactive IRT platform makes it easier to track trial drop out rates, patient visits and other operational data, simplifying workflows so that organizations can more effectively complete their tasks.

Number of employees: 500+


Emergys Companies in Durham NC

Founded: 1998

Focus: IT

What they do: Emergys specializes in building IT infrastructures to help companies complete their everyday tasks, offering everything from process automation technology to IoT solutions. The company's team has over two decades of experience serving a variety of industries, developing IT solutions for automotive, food service, tech, medical and chemicals companies.

Number of employees: 400+


Strata Solar Companies in Durham NC
Strata Solar

Founded: 2008

Focus: Energy

What they do: Strata Solar is a renewable energy company that develops, installs and operates solar energy products across the Southeastern United States. In addition to product development, Strata Solar also offers financing and storage solutions to enterprise and government clients looking to make the transition to sustainable energy.

Number of employees: 400+


SportsMEDIA Technology Companies in Durham NC
SPortsMEDIA Technology

Founded: 1988

Focus: Sports

What they do: Working with big name clients like ESPN, HBO, NASCAR and Turner Sports, SportsMEDIA Technology delivers both in-person and broadcasting technologies that help organizations better engage their audiences. With experience serving a client base of over 200 organizations and companies, SportsMEDIA Technology has a proven track record of delivering impactful and successful technical services, earning 33 Emmy Awards for its work.

Number of employees: 300+


Implus Companies in Durham NC

Founded: 1988

Focus: Retail

What they do: Implus is a footwear retailer that markets outdoor footwear, athletic gear, medical products and other related accessories to customers across the globe. With both in-person and online retail outlets, Implus delivers a portfolio of over 20 leading footwear brands to customers in 70 countries internationally. 

Number of employees: 300+


ShopperLocal Companies in Durham NC

Founded: 2014

Focus: Marketing

What they do: ShopperLocal helps small and medium-sized businesses achieve more success in their communities by connecting them with hyper-local marketing solutions. From billboards to coupons, ShopperLocal offers its clients a suite of tailored marketing solutions designed to bring in more traffic both online and offline. 

Number of employees: 250+


Zaloni Companies in Durham NC

Founded: 2007

Focus: DataOps

What they do: Zaloni is a DataOps company that specializes in helping companies and organizations better manage their data with the help of machine learning technology. The company's automated platform simplifies data transfer and utilization to help companies cut back on infrastructural and maintenance costs without compromising on security.

Number of employees: 200+


Phononic Companies in Durham NC

Founded: 2008

Focus: Semiconductor

What they do: Phononic seeks to re-envision climate control by manufacturing chip technology capable of handling heating and cooling systems without the help of fans, compressors and other large pieces of hardware. By designing thermoelectric solid-state chips that can centrally manage temperature control, Phononic hopes to reduce the reliance on inefficient and unsustainable energy sources for heating and refrigeration.

Number of employees: 100+

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