Editor’s note: This is another of Local Tech Wire’s daily series profiling investment and venture firms operating in the Carolinas and Georgia. The series was compiled by Matthew Burns and Daniel Pearson. Spun out from the state Commerce Department in 1991, the North Carolina Technological Development Authority has since invested more than $400 million in companies across the state.

However, the organization is currently under fire from state officials for questionable spending practices and has had its funding frozen, so it’s unclear how much support it may be able to lend to companies in the near future.

The TDA has three funds that provide seed-stage and growth capital to fledgling companies. Its Fund of Funds partners with larger venture firms to increase the amount of organized angel capital and professionally managed venture capital available in the state.
Firms it has backed include SciQuest, Xanthon and Industrial Microwave Systems.

But the TDA goes beyond investments to assist young technology firms. It operates business incubators such as the First Flight Venture Center in Research Triangle Park, offering inexpensive office and lab space, works with North Carolina universities to spin out research programs into for-profit companies and provides low-cost loans to firms in rural parts of the state.

Here’s the skinny:

Featured Firm: North Carolina Technological Development Authority

Mailing address:

PO Box 13169
Research Triangle Park, NC
27709-3169

Phone number: (919)990-8558

Web site: www.nctda.com

Management Team:

John P. McConnell, chairman
Randy O. Overton, vice chairman
Dave Emmett, president
J.C. Cousar, secretary
Janice G. Beatty, treasurer
Orlan W. Johnson, assistant treasurer

Focus of firm: To create jobs and wealth throughout North Carolina using business incubation, venture capital, technology transfer and rural initiatives to commercialize promising business opportunities.

Size of current fund: Several different funds

Companies funded over the last five years (amount and round for each co.): More than $400 million invested in North Carolina companies over the last 10 years. (Declined to list specific investments.)

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

In what size range: $25,000 and up.

Sweet Spot (types of deals, stage of the company): Creating jobs and wealth throughout North Carolina using business incubation, venture capital, technology transfer and rural initiatives to commercialize promising business opportunities.

Most important attributes for companies seeking funding: Must be based in North Carolina.

What differentiates you: Company’s success has provided it the credibility it needs to attract capital along with public, private and university partners.

Monday’s Profile: Oberlin Capital