Editor’s note: This is the 14th in a series of profiles featuring venture capital and investment firms operating in the Carolinas and Georgia. The series was compiled by Matthew Burns and Daniel Pearson. Formed in 1989, when venture investing was a rarity in North Carolina, the N.C. Enterprise Corp. has backed some very successful companies over the years. But not for much longer.

SpectraSite Communications, Sphinx Pharmaceuticals and RF Micro Devices, all public companies today, have been in the firm’s portfolio in the past.

However, the firm is now in the midst of winding down its $28 million fund and has no plans on making new investments outside its current portfolio, which includes companies such as NetOctave, PeopleClick, Encelle and Southern Assisted Living.

Led by Chuck Closson and Joe Velk throughout almost all of its 13-year existence, N.C. Enterprise Corp. has pursued investments in more than just information technology and biotechnology companies.

Automotive parts and maintenance, cable television and fire-retardant fabrics are other concepts that have found their way into the fund’s portfolio.

Here’s the skinny:

Featured Firm: North Carolina Enterprise Fund, LP

Mailing address:

PO Box 20429
Raleigh, NC 27619

Phone number: (919)781-2691

Web site: www.ncef.com

Management Team:

Charles T. Closson, president and CEO
Joseph A. Velk, executive vice president
Nancy P. Owens, senior vice president

Focus of firm: Information technology, health care, and other companies with strong growth prospects.

Money under management: $28 million

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

Broadband Technologies, Inc.
Celotek Corporation
Global Software, Inc.
NetEdge Systems, Inc.
NetOctave, Inc.
Orologic, Inc.
PeopleClick, Inc.
RF Micro Devices, Inc.
Encelle, Inc.
Southern Assisted Living, Inc.
Sphinx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Autopact, Inc.
Comcept Fabrics, Inc.
Genesis North Carolina, Inc.
PCX Corporation
Rostra Precision Controls, Inc.
Selee Corporation
SpectraSite, Inc.
Strategic Diagnostics, Inc.

How many new deals do you expect to fund in 2002: none

Sweet Spot (types of deals, stage of the company): Investing in small, private emerging growth companies, many of which have a technology bias.

Most important attributes for companies seeking funding: Fund winding down, no new investments planned

Friday’s profile: N.C. Technological Development Authority