Maybe a bit of networking will do the trick.

With the Venture 2003 conference opening Tuesday afternoon in Chapel Hill, it might be the only way for entrepreneurs to pry open the wallets of reluctant venture capitalists.

One firm unlikely to make a deal is Kitty Hawk Capital. The venerable Charlotte firm has signaled it is winding down its operations after 23 years, deciding not to raise a fifth fund. That leaves Kitty Hawk with enough fuel in its tank to make only one or two more new investments while shepherding the rest of its portfolio toward eventual exits.

Only one deal was announced last week … and that involved an overseas venture firm. Charlotte-based Ephinay, which handles IT-intensive finance and accounting work for clients, nabbed a $10 million first round from India-based Chrys Capital. That brings the North Carolina total for the year to just over $100 million in 15 deals.

Here is LTW’s exclusive list of North Carolina venture deals, ranked according to the size of the investment:

Company; Sector; Amount (Round)

1. TransTech Pharma, High Point; Pharmaceutical; $24 million (NA)

Investors: Cephaton, MacAndrews & Forbes and Novo Nordisk A/S

2. Targacept, Winston-Salem; Biotech; $14 million (2nd)

Investors: Bison Capital, JAFCO, Nomura International, Oxford Bioscience Partners and Rock Castle Ventures

3. Arsenal Digital Solutions, Cary; IT services; $10.5 million (4th)

Investors: Covestco, Southeast Interactive Technology Funds and Southern Cross Capital

4. Ephinay, Charlotte; IT services; $10 million (1st)

Investors: Chrys Capital

5. StemCo Biomedical, Durham; Biotech; $9.8 million (2nd)

Investors: Aurora Funds, Becton Dickinson Ventures, Intersouth Partners, Tall Oaks Capital and Trelys Venture Partners

6. OrthoNeuro, Charlotte; Medical; $8.5 million (NA)

Investors: New Enterprise Associates

7. Venetica, Charlotte; Software; $7 million (1st)

Investors: Charles River Ventures and General Catalyst Partners

8. Oculan, Raleigh; Networking; $5 million (4th)

Investors: Soros Equity Partners

9. USA Staffing, Greensboro; Services; $4 million (NA)

Investors: Argosy Investment Partners II and Venture Capital Partners

10. Relativity Technologies, Cary; Software; $2 million (4th)

Investors: Noro-Moseley Partners and Wakefield Group

11. AvidXchange, Charlotte; Software; $2 million (2nd)

Investors: Charlotte Angel Partners, Piedmont Angel Network and and individuals

12. RSS Solutions, Greenville; Software; $1.6 million (NA)

Investors: Edgestone Capital Partners

13. LiveWire Logic, Morrisville; Software; $1.5 million (

Investors: Gray Ventures and Research Triangle Ventures

13. Trinity Security, Charlotte; IT services; $1.5 million (1st)

Investors: Venture Capital Solutions

15. StrikeIron, Raleigh; Software; NA (Seed)

Investors: Aurora Funds