Tracking investment capital in North Carolina – well, anywhere, for that matter, but let’s focus on our state – is like trying to herd cats.

The Council for Entrepreneurial Development, however, is doing the seemingly impossible.

Through its Innovators Report, which launched three years ago and published a first quarter 2016 review earlier Tuesday, the CED is seeking to capture capital soup-to-nuts, venture capital to grants. And the Durham-based group’s data does provide insight into what’s happening among what the CED defines as “Entrepreneurial Companies” well beyond what any group has done before.

So here’s a tip of The Skinny’s cap to CED CEO Joan Siefert Rose and her team for putting this data at the fingertips of entrepreneurs, media, investors, economic developers and anyone else who wants to know what’s happening here beyond VC totals. (Read our blog about the first quarter report and how its data compares to the three best-known venture reports.)

Now, on to the 2015 wrapup.

Grants, awards total $71M

2015 was a better year for capital than previously reported, ending at $1.253 billion.

That’s because grants and awards added up to $71.126 million.

Compared to venture capital, which runs about three times that total, the grant/award cash is NOT inconsequential.

VC funding ast year to nearly $700 million in the state’s best performance since the “dot com” boom in 2000. But the CED report notes that the capital pie is so much bigger, especially when including the grants.

The CED breaks down this grant/award money in four categories:

  • Tech: $14,956,940
  • Life Science: $44,913,703
  • Advanced Manufacturing and Materials: $9,976,705
  • Cleantech: $1,278,580

So, to close: 2015 capital improved well over double of that 2014.

Thanks, CED, for the data.