Aaron Davidson, managing director of venture capital firm HIG Ventures, received the Southeast Leadership Award recently from the Southeast BIO organization at its venture capital conference in Pinehurst, N.C.

HIG helped the biotech industry trade group launch its new BIO/Plan business competition. Davidson focuses on life science investments.

HIG has offices in Atlanta, Miami, Boston and San Francisco.

Triptcor Pharmaceuticals, which is developing technology from Emory University, won the first prize in the competition, which was worth $100,000.

Several other companies also received awards at the event.

Argolyn Bioscience of Charleston, S.C., was picked for the “deal of the year” in initial funding. Argolyn raised $15.8 million in Series A financing in June. Investors included Intersouth Partners, Quaker BioVentures and Amgen ventures.

Metastatix, which is based in Tucker, Ga., received the VC “transaction” award for its $35 million in Series B funding that closed in October. Frazier Healthcare Ventures, HIG Ventures, The Aurora Funds, CM Capital, SR One, MedImmune Ventures, Georgia Venture Partners, Centrosome Ventures and the State of Georgia were investors.

Targacept, located in Winston-Salem, N.C., was cited for “strategic transaction” deal of the year, recognizing its drug development alliance with GlaxoSmithKline that could mean as much as $1.5 billion for the company.

In an “Early Stage Shootout” event, Transgeneron Therapeutics of Gainesville, Fla., emerged as the winner. Transgeneron is a spinout from the University of Florida.

SEBIO’s 2008 conference is set for Dec. 4-5 in Palm Beach, Fla.