Editor’s Note: Looking for investors? Partners? Want to know who the “players” are in the venture capital world? Local Tech Wire may help you find some answers. This is the first in a series of profiles focusing on VC firms which focus for the most part and/or are based in the Carolinas and Georgia. The series was prepared by Matthew Burns and Daniel Pearson. Each firm was asked to fill out a questionnaire. Not all firms chose to answer all questions or in complete detail, such as funding amounts. To avoid confusion, each firm’s responses appear as submitted to Local Tech Wire. The series will run Monday through Friday. When John Ciannamea stepped down as president of the North Carolina Technological Development Authority in late 1999, he took seed money from the TDA and formed a venture capital firm that aimed to back young companies from the western half of the state. Meanwhile, Glenn Kline was pumping money into North Carolina State University spin-offs as director of Centennial Ventures.

The two later meshed their efforts to become Academy Venture Funds and now have the goal of raising $25 million from each of six Southeastern states and Texas to create a $175 million fund to finance university spinoffs in each of the states.

Academy already has $36 million under management from its earlier fund-raising efforts, with a little more than half invested in companies such as Pilot Therapeutics, Waveguide Solutions and Silicon Wireless, which were born in the respective laboratories of Wake Forest University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and N.C. State. The fund likes to focus on life science and semiconductor firms, providing small investments of up to $1.2 million.

Here’s the skinny:

Featured Firm: Academy Funds

Mailing address: 920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 400
Raleigh, NC 27606

Phone number: (919)424-3800

Web site: : www.academyfunds.com

Management Team:

John Ciannamea, general partner
Glenn Kline, general partner
Greg Johnson, partner
Matt Crawford, partner
Matt Caplice, associate
Nick Stefanovic, associate

Focus of firm: Seed and early stage technology companies

Size of current fund: $26 million

Money under management: $36 million

How many of those dollars have been invested: $19 million

Companies funded in 2001:



Companies funded over the last five years (amount and round for each co.):


Pilot Therapeutics



Raleigh Technology Corporation

Silicon Wireless Corporation

Waveguide Solutions

How many new deals do you expect to fund in 2002: Undetermined

In what size range: $50,000 to $1.2 million

Sweet Spot (types of deals, stage of the company): Life science, semi conductor and information technology companies

Most important attributes for companies seeking funding: Large, growing market, strong management team

What differentiates you: All investments must be university affiliated

Tuesday’s profile: The Atlantis Group