North Carolina is rolling out a second Innovation Fund, and this time it’s worth even more than the first which was launched five years ago.

State Treasurer Janet Cowell is targeting $250 million for North Carolina-centered firms.

That’s $18 million more than the initial fund. Most of it – $185 million – has already been committed to 12 companies, Cowell announced at the new fund kickoff Wednesday in Charlotte.

Three “exits” and growth of the other investments’ valuations have produced a 20 percent positive return, Cowell’s office disclosed. The office oversees some $80 billion in assets.

“Five years ago, we launched an initiative that we hoped would benefit retired teachers and public employees and the economy of our state. I’m pleased to report we’ve been successful,” Cowell said in the announcement.

“We begin building on that success today by announcing a second Innovation Fund of $250 million that will continue investing in our own backyard.”

Investments are made from the North Carolina retirement fund.

The state makes co-investments in companies along with private equity partners. Grosvenor Capital Management in Charlotte managed the first fund.

According to Cowell’s office, the new fund will set aside two thirds of the $250 million for co-investments.

The remaining third will be divided among venture, growth, buyout and mezzanine financing.