Entrepreneurial and startup companies across North Carolina appear headed toward a second $1 billion-plus year in capital investments in three years. That’s good news, of course. But a growing diversity of investors adds to the rosy picture as does a strong showing in Charlotte’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Eleven investors from across the Midwest put money into the state’s growing agtech sector, according to data compiled by the Council for Entrepreneurial Development’s latest Innovators Report that covers the first half of 2017.

The state also drew 12 backers from the Northeast plus eight in California and 1 in the Northwest.

Add in the 28 North Carolina backers and the result is a nice geographic mix.

Big deals, such as those closed by Charlotte’s AvidXchange ($300 million) and SmartSky Networks ($176 million) helped draw investors’ attention here as did agtech, which is being driven in part by the new agtech accelerator in the Park.

“The big tech deals are attracting new out-of-state investors. And specifically AgTech companies are bringing in more dollars from investors in the Midwest,”  Miriam Andrews Wilson, CED’s Vice President of Investors Relations, told The Skinny.

“As more out-of-market investors make their first deals with NC companies, this should encourage them – and make it easier for them – to look for additional opportunities in our state.”

Led by the Charlotte deals, the state nearly matched the entire 2016 equity total of $806 million with the $769 million from January through June 30.

“We are pacing similarly to 2015 which exceeded $1 billion in total funding,”  Wilson noted.

“While big deals are driving up the dollars, we are also seeing an increase in the number of deals. In the first half of 2017, we saw 107 deals versus 82 in the first half of 2016 and 98 in the first half of 2015.”

Entrepreneurial activity continues to grow in the Queen City, too.

The report also adds a spark of enthusiasm to the atmosphere surrounding the CED’s upcoming Tech Venture Conference next month in Raleigh.

“Deal activity is strong in both tech and life science sectors,” Wilson pointed out.

“At CED Tech Venture (Sept 19-20 in Raleigh), we will be showcasing NC companies at all stages – from startups to growth – for an audience including investors from over 75 funds across the U.S.

“It’s an exciting time to be a part of the NC entrepreneurial community, and we look forward to sharing and celebrating at the conference.”

A total of 107 investments across 93 companies were made through June 30.

Check out the report at: