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 in this the third part of our series 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. They may have started out blue, but Scott Albert and Jeff Clark, the general partners of Aurora Funds, now think only green.

The two Duke University graduates formed the firm eight years ago, when venture investing was still rare in the Triangle. But Albert had venture capital experience at out-of-state funds and the North Carolina Technological Development Authority, and Clark was a master fundraiser, having worked in Duke’s development office.

The pair have raised about $70 million in three funds over the years. With the funds almost fully invested in a mix of life science and information technology firms, Albert and Clark have their eyes focused on a fourth fund that they hope will at least double that total.

Aurora has backed such successful Triangle companies as Accipiter and HAHT Software and development firms like Merix Bioscience, StemCo Biomedical and Cogent Neuroscience. But its portfolio is wide ranging: Its investments are in firms located from Florida to Massachusetts to Ohio, and it has teamed with an Alabama firm on a $40 million fund targeting start-ups in that state.

Here’s the skinny:

Featured Firm: Aurora Funds

Mailing address: 2525 Meridian Parkway
Suite 220 Durham, NC 27713

Phone number: (919)484-0400

Web site: http://www.aurorafunds.com

Management Team:

B. Jefferson Clark, general partner
M. Scott Albert, general partner

Focus of firm: : To provide capital, connections, and strategic help to entrepreneurs with early stage life science and information technology companies.

Size of current fund: $52.2 million

Money under management: $70 million

How many of those dollars have been invested: about $49 million

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

Cogent Neuroscience
Insect Bioechnology, Inc.
Merix Bioscience, Inc.
Norak Biosciences
Stem Co Biomedical, Inc.
TriVirix International
United Emergency Services, Inc.

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

In what size range: Undetermined

Sweet Spot (types of deals, stage of the company): Seed and early stage life science and information technology deals in the Southeast.

Most important attributes for companies seeking funding:
Solid management teams; compelling products or services; compelling growth strategy.

What differentiates you: Extensive venture capital and business operating experience; strong portfolio performance; focused investment strategies.

Thursday’s profile: Capital Investment Partners

Tuesday’s profile: Atlantis Group. Click here: www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=143

Monday’s profile: Academy Funds. Click here: www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=137