Editor’s note: Local Tech Wire features a daily profile of a venture capital or investment firm. Matthew Burns, Worth Civils and Daniel Pearson compiled the series. Looking to add private equity to the mix of investment services it could offer to well-heeled clients, Chapel Hill-based money management firm Franklin Street Partners joined forces with Fairview Capital of Raleigh six years ago to get a taste of venture investing. But Franklin Street took off the training wheels a couple of years ago and now does venture deals on its own.

With $70 million under management, the firm likes to provide early-stage financing for both information technology and life sciences companies, primarily located in the Research Triangle region.

The business savvy of Chairman Paul Rizzo, former dean of the University of North Carolina business school and IBM vice chairman, and other Franklin Street managers likely helps in investment decisions, although they aren’t involved in daily operations of the venture portfolio.

Franklin Street’s portfolio includes Cogent Neuroscience, Biolex, HAHT Commerce and Xanthon. The firm cashed out of Osprey Systems at a high valuation a couple of years ago.

Here’s the skinny:

Featured Firm: Franklin Street/Fairview Capital

Mailing address: 1450 Raleigh Road, Suite 300, Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Phone number: (919) 489-2600

Web site: www.franklin-street.com (Under construction)

Management Team:

Stuart Frantz (President)
Daniel Duffy (Principal)

Focus of firm: Early-stage technology, both IT and life science.

Size of current fund: No fund

Money under management: $70 million

Companies funded over the last five years:

Biolex Inc.
Cogent Neuroscience
HAHT Commerce Inc.
Mirador Systems Inc. (formerly NeoButler)
Osprey Systems Inc.

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

In what size range: $2 million

Sweet Spot (types of deals, stage of the company): Information technology and life sciences; series A.

Most important attributes for companies seeking funding: Completed product.

What differentiates you: Partners’ operating experience.

Note: Previous profiles can be found by going to Search, selecting Venture Watch category and setting date parameters between Feb. 1 and today.