Editor’s note: This story has been updated to make a clarification regarding funding for StepLeader.

RALEIGH, N.C. - StepLeader on Tuesday welcomed N.C. State Treasurer Janet Cowell to its headquarters location on W. Hargett Street in Raleigh.

Cowell came to visit the facility of one of the companies that has received funding through the NC Innovation Fund and its partners. The NC Innovation Fund, a $232.3 million fund established on March 15, 2010, works to disburse funds to early stage startups. Approximately $70 million has been invested in private equity and venture capital funds through the NC Innovation Fund, said Schorr Johnson, a spokesperson for the Department of State Treasurer.”

For StepLeader, which received a $4.4 million investment in May 2013 that was led by River Cities Capital Funds and joined by Bull City Venture Partners, the tour represents a testament to the work that they’re doing.

“Treasurer Cowell’s visit is a great indication of the value of the NC Innovation Fund in helping innovative NC-based companies continue to grow in the state,” said Brian Handly, CEO of StepLeader.

“This program,” said Handly, “has allowed StepLeader to achieve significant growth in several key areas.” This includes hiring, said Handly. StepLeader has made more than 15 hires in the last 12 months, Handly noted.

StepLeader is a spinout company from Capitol Broadcasting, which maintains an investment in the venture capital-backed firm. (Capitol also is the parent of WRAL News, WRAL.com and WRALTechWire.)

The NC Innovation Fund is managed by Credit Suisse. The firm was chosen to administer the Innovation Fund through a public Request for Proposals process in March 2010. Eight firms submitted proposals, said Schorr Johnson, a spokesperson for the Department of State Treasurer.

To date, the NC Innovation Fund has committed $70 million to seven private equity and venture capital firms, said Johnson. These firms “invest in companies at their discretion,” said Johnson, and “$100 million has been invested alongside private equity managers directly into companies in the form of co-investments.”

Treasurer Janet Cowell’s visit was designed to “highlight the Innovation Fund at work,” said Johnson.

It is the second company that Treasurer Cowell has visited. The first, iTEC (Instrument Transformer Equipment Corporation), in Monroe, NC.

“It is great to get out and see the tangible outcomes of our investment,” said Cowell, explaining that it is often difficult to understand the impact entrepreneurs are having in their communities.

Companies like StepLeader, said Cowell, are “helping pave the way.”

Credit Suisse, the NC Innovation Fund manager, expects the additional $63.3 million of non-committed funds to be dispersed to one additional private equity or venture capital firm, and additional co-investments in companies that “have a North Carolina nexus,” said Tracy Harris, vice president of Credit Suisse Customized Fund.

[Editor’s note: In a previous version of this article, WRAL Tech Wire implied that Step Leader was the recipient of a direct co-investment from the NC Innovation Fund. As noted in the original piece, the investment in StepLeader came from River Cities Capital Funds and Bull City Ventures. River Cities Capital Funds is one of the NC Innovation Fund partners.]