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This story appears in the July 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Silicon Semiconductor Corp. knows how to make a good thing last. The Durham, North Carolina, company makes tiny, high-efficiency power management semiconductors for use in battery-powered electronics like laptops. Late last year, the company's ability to stretch the life of a battery attracted a $10 million venture investment from the granddaddy of silicon, Fairchild Semiconductor.

That might have been enough for some companies. But Silicon Semiconductor knows that, like a battery, venture capital dollars need to last as long as possible. The company had an aggressive rollout schedule for its new technology and needed to maximize its cash available to accomplish that goal.

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