RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Entrepreneurs from across North Carolina and the southeast will gather at this surfside city on Monday and Tuesday for the fifth annual “Opportunity” conference put on by the Council for Entrepreneurial Development.

The event is rounding into one of the better conferences put on for startup companies seeking investors – and angels and venture capitalists looking for attractive opportunities.

Opportunity 2007 will include presentations from 10 early-stage companies on Tuesday. The CED has also added a “speed dating” feature through which very early stage companies will have opportunities to meet with investors. As part of the speed dating, the entrepreneurs will also receive feedback on their business plans and presentations.

The Wilmington area also has a chance to showcase two success stories – Richard Johnson, the founder of, and Richard Randall, chief executive officer of TranS1. TranS1 is a medical device startup.

Johnson will talk with attendees about how he turned HotJobs into a venture bought by Yahoo! For $485 million in 2001. He also had taken the company public. Johnson now lives in the Wilmington area.

Randall is trying to take TranS1 public. The company, which has technology for minimally invasive treatment of spinal disorders, recently filed an IPO with a goal of raising $80 million.

Early-stage companies presenting are:

A-B Sea Research, Raleigh; Beecoz, Raleigh; BioMedomics, RTP; Magnus Health Portal, Raleigh; Nanovector, Raleigh; PrepChamps, Apex; SourceHorizon, Greensboro; Transfusion & Transplantation Technologies, Atlanta; Trend Funnel, Greensboro; and Valencell, Raleigh.

Speed dating participants are:
blue dog Network, Bolivia. N.C.; Compliancy Software, Sanford; Fair Market Valuations, Holly Springs; Filtara, Cary; Intrepid Media, Chapel Hill; Manufacturing Analysis, Carrboro; MojoMyLife, Raleigh; RxNetServices, Greensboro; and The Sportsbone, Wrightsville Beach.
For more details on the conference, see the CED Web link.