Venture Capital

Creation. Cultivation. Commercialization.

The Business of Big Ideas

The Research Triangle Region's strong concentration of universities, contract research organizations and tech companies creates a thriving ecosystem for startups and entrepreneurs that attract investments from both local and global Venture Capital firms. Last year, Triangle startups raised more than $2 billion through 159 deals, which accounted for 90% of the funding and 77% of the deals in North Carolina.

Largest VC Raises in the Triangle

In the 2019 calendar year, there were 13 venture capital deals in the Triangle that had a value of more than $20 million. Of these deals, the largest contingent occurred in the life sciences industry. Looking back on the past decade, there have been 490 VC deals that have a combined value of $5.9 billion in the Triangle. Ranked by the dollar amount of VC deals in 2019, here are the top ten raises in the Triangle: 

CED Innovators Report

Read more about the record-setting investments made in North Carolina and the Research Triangle Region in this year's Innovators Report

Investment Firms in the Region

Home to more than 25 venture capital and angel investing groups, the Research Triangle Region can easily connect entrepreneurs and startups with access to funding, guidance and experienced networks. Click for a directory of investment firms in the region, and continue reading for more information about the region's funding resources.

Investor Highlight: Alexandria Venture Investments

One of the most active venture capital firms in the region, Alexandria Venture Investments seeks to create clusters and invest in companies focused on advancing human health. Located in the Research Triangle Park, Alexandria is well-connected to the region’s resources and aware of the challenges and opportunities facing startups in the life science, Agtech and technology industries. Venture investments include Biopharma, Diagnostics, Research Tools, AgTech and Technology.

Part of Alexandria Venture Investments, the Alexandria Seed Capital is a new model created to catalyze life science and Agtech seed-stage investment. In this model, partners are not required to commit capital in a typical fund model, but are offered allocations to a range of deals chooses Alexandria to invest in. This gives partners the options to choose what ventures they want to support.

  • Most Active Biopharma Investor by new deal volume in 2017-2018, as recognized by Silicon Valley Bank
  • #1 venture capital investor in the healthcare sector by U.S.-based deal volume in 2018, as recognized by Forbes
  • $892M Book Value (as of December 31, 2018)
  • 140+ Direct Private Investments
  • 45+ IPO Exits between 2013 and 2018
  • 10+ M&A Exits between 2013 and 2018

Investor Highlight: Hatteras Venture Partners

Hatteras Venture Partners (HVP) is a venture capital firm based in Durham, N.C. with a focus on seed and early-stage opportunities across the health care continuum from transformative therapies to disruptive technologies. The firm has more than $550 million in capital commitments under management and has deployed five funds. As the most active venture capital firm in the region, HVP invested in five Triangle Region companies in 2018.

HVP recently announced the first closing of Hatteras Venture Partners VI, LP (HVP VI), with $94 million in deployable capital toward an ultimate target fund size of $200 million.

Successful regional companies in previous funds include:

  • G1 Therapeutics
  • StrideBio
  • NeuroTronik, Inc.
  • Bivarus, Inc.

Investor Highlight: Triangle Venture Alliance

Triangle Venture Alliance (TVA), a partnership between Duke University, the University of North Carolina, NC State University and North Carolina Central University, is a network of alumni angel groups created to fund start-ups founded by alumni, students, staff, faculty and families. Founded in 2016, TVA seeks to combine the resources of its member universities to attract seed-stage capital to the region.

TVA members include the Duke Angel Network, Wolfpack Investor Network, Carolina Angel Network, and North Carolina Central University.

  • $2.6 billion+ spent annually on research by Duke University, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and NC State University
  • $7 million + invested in its first two years
  • 200,000+ alumni from the four colleges
  • 410 Medical and Camras Vision as initial investments

Investors Located in the Triangle Region

Alexandria Venture Investments // Seeks to create clusters and invest in companies focused on advancing human health by curing disease and improving nutrition. Venture investments include Biopharma, Diagnostics, Research Tools, AgTech and Technology.

Bull City Venture Partners // Primarily invests in seed and early-stage software, internet, mobile, health IT and E-Commerce startups.

Calvert Research // A strategic advisory and equity investment firm with experience in preclinical drug development. It invests a portion of the normal, retail cost of IND enabling preclinical study services conducted at Calvert Laboratories for a stake in the partner company.

Carolina Angel Network // Connects successful alumni, donors and friends of UNC who are passionate about making a change in the Innovate Carolina ecosystem and want to provide advice and investment to early-stage UNC-affiliated companies.

Cato BioVentures // The venture capital affiliate of Cato Holding, an international CRO. It invests in opportunities during all stages of development and across multiple therapeutic areas.

Cherokee // A private equity and venture capital firm specializing in the acquisition, remediation and sustainable redevelopment of brownfield real estate properties.

Cofounders Capital // An early-stage seed fund and startup accelerator focused on B2B software ventures predominately in the NC Triangle area.

Duke Angel Network // Engages and matches Duke alumni network expertise with portfolio companies to support growth and success.

Golden Pine Ventures // A venture capital company that seeks out biotechnology and biomedical opportunities.

Hatteras Venture Partners // An investment firm that seeks to build transformational human medicine companies that benefit patients and the professionals who serve them.

The Launch Place // Invests primarily in new and serial entrepreneurs in the industries of nanotechnology, green technology, alternative energy, advanced manufacturing, advanced materials, medical devices and information technology.

Idea Fund Partners // A seed and early-stage venture capital firm focused on investing in and working alongside innovative technology companies in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions focused on industries such as software, tech-enabled services, materials technologies and medical devices and diagnostics.

Inception Micro Angel Fund (IMAF-RTP) // A member-managed seed-stage angel capital fund designed to capitalize on the growth in entrepreneurial activity and venture financing, primarily in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina, greater North Carolina and in selective areas of Virginia and South Carolina.

Intersouth Partners // The largest venture capital fund in North Carolina and one of the largest in the Southeast. Has invested in more than 100 early-stage life science and technology companies across the Southeast.

NC IDEA // A private foundation with a mission to maximize the economic potential of the people of North Carolina by supporting the formation and fruition of high-growth entrepreneurial endeavors in the state.

NC State Chancellor’s Innovation Fund // Awards up to $75,000 to support NC State innovators in short-term commercially-focused research projects.

One Better Ventures // Nurtures and develops consumer brands that have a positive impact on the world.  Advises, invests in and incubates mission-driven ventures with breakthrough sustainable business models.

Pappas Capital // Invests exclusively in the life science sector – biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, drug delivery, medical devices and related ventures – across the United States and Canada.

RTP Capital // A local seed and early-stage angel network that primarily supports tech-focused startups in North Carolina

SJF Ventures // Seeks to catalyze the development of highly successful businesses driving lasting, positive changes. Typically invests in high-growth companies creating a healthier, smarter and cleaner future.

Social Venture Circle // The world’s largest early-stage impact investing network. Invests in start-ups looking to improve the environment, education, health and community.

Southern Capitol Ventures //  Focuses on early-stage companies in the software, e-commerce, digital media, mobile and healthcare IT industries, but also always consider later stage opportunities and spinouts in which it partners with larger VC funds. Southern Capitol is often the first investor to become involved with a company.

Triangle Angel Partners // An active group of local angel investors who are also (or have experience as) executives, PhDs, successful entrepreneurs and professional investors.

Triangle Venture Alliance // A network of alumni angel groups created to fund start-ups founded by alumni, students, staff, faculty and families. Created by a partnership between Duke University, the University of North Carolina, NC State University and North Carolina Central University.

Wolfpack Investor Network // Seeks to support the global NC State entrepreneurial community with an angel investing platform and co-investment fund (the Seed Capital Endowment Fund) that engages and leverages the power of the NC State alumni network and brings together the NC State entrepreneurial community, NC State alumni network, and innovative private companies.

Startup Ecosystem

Looking for space, resources or a network? The region's low cost of living combined with its coworking spaces, startup accelerators, networking opportunities and local industry expertise fosters an innovative startup ecosystem.