A Sharp AIM

Like many 5-year-olds, California's Vycon corporation is going through a growth spurt. A developer of mechanical energy-storage devices (essentially batteries made of flywheels rather than chemicals), the firm is beefing up production of some of its gadgets tenfold this year to quench demand. To pay for such expansion, Vycon's executives decided to sell shares to the public. Too tiny to trade on New York City's NASDAQ, the company focused instead on another market catering to ambitious upstarts like Vycon. London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) was a "global market for small companies," says Vycon president and CEO Tony Aoun, which...

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