Editor’s note: Local Tech Wire profiles a venture or investment firm each business day. Matthew Burns, Worth Civils and Daniel Pearson compiled the series. The first angel investor organization in the region surrounding Greensboro and Winston-Salem, N.C., the Piedmont Angel Network has closed on about $3 million of a planned $5 million to $6 million initial fund.

It also now counts some 50 wealthy individuals as members, about half of its desired total.

Investors in the Piedmont Triad area have talked about forming an angel network for several years, but the creation of an investment education program by the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center spurred the founding group into action. The network recently hired its first fund manager, Lou Anne Flanders-Stec, who previously worked for a private equity fund in New York, a Winston-Salem e-commerce startup and the United Way of Greater Greensboro.

Investors began meeting with start-up information technology and life sciences companies in February and expect to close their first deals in the next two months. Most deals will be seed or first-round investments of about $250,000 each.

Here’s the skinny:

Featured Firm: Piedmont Angel Network

Mailing address: 2007 Yanceyville St., Box 37, Greensboro, NC 27405

Phone number: (336) 533-0025

Web site: www.piedmontangelnetwork.com (Under construction)

Management Team:

Lou Anne Flanders-Stec (Fund Executive)
Jake Froelich
John McKinnon
Lanty Smith
Horace Stimson

Focus of firm: Development of an investment fund from “angels” formed last November in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina to fund start-up and early-stage companies in the area.

Size of current fund: $5 million

Companies funded over the last five years: None

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

In what size range: $250,000 average per deal

Sweet Spot (types of deals, stage of the company): Technology and life sciences companies in the start-up/early stage.

Most important attributes for companies seeking funding: Current market size for product/services; product/service is a solution to a “real business problem”; strength of management team; proprietary technology (if applicable).

What differentiates you: Only Triad region angel network.

Wednesday’s profile: Silicon Valley Bank.

Note: Previous profiles can be founded by using the Search tool. Select the Venture Watch category between Feb. 1 and today.