Jud Bowman, who launched a mobile phone technology firm while attending the North Carolina School of Science and Math, is starting a new company.

On Tuesday, Bowman and his venture capital backers Wakefield Group and Noro-Moseley Partners closed on the purchase of the smart-phone division from Motricity. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about this,” Bowman told Local Tech Wire. “We are going to build an exciting new company and it will be based right here in North Carolina.”

The new venture, to be called PocketGear, will be based in Durham and begins operations with 15 people and $10 million in annual revenue, Bowman said in an interview.

Motricity recently announced plans to shutter its headquarters, lay off more than 200 people and consolidate most of its operations in Bellevue, Wash. The company is building its business around technology acquired in 2007 from InfoSpace, which is based in Bellevue.

Bowman, a North Carolina native, was Motricity’s chief technology officer as well as a member of the board. He  chose to remain in North Carolina and launch a new company, but Bowman said he will retain his ownership stake in Motricity. He and Ryan Wuerch, Motricity’s chairman and CEO, are the largest individual shareholders in Motricity, according to Bowman.

Steve Nelson, who runs Wakefield Group, also stepped down from the Motricity board as part of the deal.

Motricity has strong roots in the Triangle, dating to 1999 when high school students Bowman and Taylor Brockman launched a company called Pinpoint. The firm later merged with PowerbyHand, a Tennessee-based firm that Wuerch ran. Wuerch decided to base the combined company in Durham and renamed it Motricity.

Motricity’s decision to focus on the InfoSpace technology meant that the firm could shed some intellectual property. That portfolio included some IP that Bowman and high school classmate Taylor Brockman had created when they launched Pinpoint as a search engine for mobile phones.

The two also had helped create the “Fuel” platform on which Motricity provided content such as ring tones and mobile data to many of the major mobile networks in North America.

“The divestiture of our smartphone and direct-to-consumer businesses supports Motricity’s commitment to continue to strengthen our focus on our core business of providing mobile content infrastructure and services for the leading global mobile operators,” Wuerch said in a statement.  “The direct-to-consumer business was part of the foundation of Motricity and has strong potential for continued growth. However, it is no longer aligned with the strategic focus of the company.

“This transaction will enable many of the same employees that have worked with this part of Motricity for years to continue to operate the business. Jud played such an integral role in Motricity’s success, and I’m confident he’ll have the same success with PocketGear,” Wuerch added.