Editor’s note: Local Tech Wire features a venture capital or investment firm each business day. The series was compiled by Matthew Burns, Daniel Pearson and Worth Civils. Much like CMGi in Boston, Intelligent Systems holds the rare distinction of being a public traded venture capital firm.

The Atlanta company actually started out in the 1970s making color graphics terminals and later expanded into other computer hardware businesses. By the early 1990s, the company had sold off its hardware businesses and began acquiring stakes in small technology companies, some of which later went public or were sold to larger firms.

Despite the putrid technology market in 2001, Intelligent Systems’ earnings last year were up 11 percent and its revenue jumped 24 percent over 2000 results.

Intelligent Systems focuses its activity on Georgia companies, typically investing $500,000 to $1.5 million in seed and early-stage rounds and research and development efforts. Its portfolio has included AtheroGenics, ChemFree, MediZeus, PaySys International, Risk Laboratories and Silverpop Systems.

A decade ago, Intelligent Systems formed its own technology incubator, offering start-ups office space, telecommunications and network infrastructure, education programs, business advice and planning, professional services and financial capital. The firm doesn’t invest in every incubator tenant, and many investments come from outside the facility.

Here’s the skinny:

Featured Firm: Intelligent Systems Corp.

Mailing address:

4355 Shackleford Road
Norcross, GA 30093

Phone number: (770)381-2900

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

Management Team:

J. Leland Strange
Donald A. McMahon
James V. Napier
John B. Peatman
Parker H. Petit

Focus of firm: Early-stage technology firms in growth and operations mode.

Money under management: $30 million

Representative investments:

Novient, Inc.
Medizeus
Risk Labs
PaySys International

In what size range: $500,000 to $1.5 million

Sweet Spot (types of deals, stage of the company): Seed funding, research and development, and companies seeking first or second stage funding.

Most important attributes for companies seeking funding: Primarily concentrates on Southeastern companies

What differentiates you: Founded in 1973, the company has been a major investor in Georgia’s economy, and has an established network of partners to help it locate and fund innovative entrepreneurs.

Monday’s profile: Five Pace Ventures

Previous profiles can be found by searching under Venture Watch. The list, by date:


Feb. 11: Academy Venture Funds
Feb. 12: Atlantic Group
Feb. 13: Aurora Fund
Feb. 14: Capital Investment Partners
Feb. 15: Carolina Financial Group
Feb. 18: Carousel Capital
Feb. 19: Catalysta Partners
Feb. 20: Charlotte Angel
Feb. 21: Draper Atlantic
Feb. 22: Eno River
Feb. 25: Halifax Group
Feb. 26: Intersouth Partners
Feb. 27: Kitty Hawk Capital
Feb. 28: NC Enterprise Corp.

March 1: NC Technological Development Authority
March 4: Oberlin Capital
March 5: A.M. Pappas
March 6: Piedmont
March 7: RBC Centura
March 8: Redleaf Group
March 11: Remington Capital
March 12: River Cities
March 13: Research Triangle Ventures
March 14: Southeast Interactive
March 15: Tri-State Investment Group
March 18: Trelys
March 19: truePilot
March 20: Wakefield Group
March 21: Frontier Capital
March 22: Southern Capitol Ventures
March 25: Alliance
March 26: Armada
March 27: Cordova Ventures
March 28: Craven, Green & Wahlen