VC & Angel Groups
Ready to take your startup to the next level and start pitching investors? Look into these options:
Based in Durham, Acorn Innovestments funds early-stage environmental and advanced materials startups. In addition to capital, the firm also provides business development services, financial and investment services, advising and consulting.
RTP-based Alexandria Venture Investments provides seed funding to novel drug discovery platforms, diagnostics, medical technologies and bioinformatics-driven healthcare solutions. The funding program started in 2019 when Alexandria absorbed its former AgTech Accelerator, transforming the concept into a new seed-stage VC platform and in-house incubator (Alexandria LaunchLabs). Funding opportunities are sourced from Alexandria LaunchLabs and Alexandria’s national network. More TechWire coverage here.
Alumshares is a platform that enables university alumni to invest in spinout companies from their alma mater. The Raleigh-based startup recently led a $1.6 million Series A funding round for Lindy Biosciences, a biotech company that started with technology licensed from Duke University. They’ve also partnered with NC State’s Wolfpack Investor Network for investments. More TechWire coverage here.
Led by Triangle investor Steven Lerner, Chapel Hill-based Blue Hill Group is a private equity investment firm that funds companies with promising tech solutions.
Durham venture capital firm Bootstrap Advisors invests in idea-stage startups that have low-tech, consumer-oriented products with high branding potential.
Durham-based Cato BioVentures is the venture capital arm of privately held Cato Holding. The firm focuses on biotech, pharmaceutical and therapeutic solutions, and invests in both public and private companies at all stages of development.
Charlotte Angel Fund invests in a range of early-stage startups across North Carolina, including many in the Triangle area. Typical investments reach around $50,000 per company, depending on the size of the investment round. The group focuses on tech startups that are addressing a large market. WRAL TechWire coverage here.
This Cary-based seed fund is managed by local serial entrepreneur David Gardner. The group is made up of more than 70 advisors and mentors who are dedicated to funding promising startups, as well as supporting them with prototyping, vetting and discovering beta customers.
Raleigh-based Excelerate Health Ventures invests in seed or early-stage startups with healthcare software or tech-enabled healthcare services that improve quality of care, workflow efficiency and patient outcomes. The firm prefers startups with a B2B SaaS model.
Founded in 2004 and based in Research Triangle Park, Golden Pine Ventures is a local investor that funds biotech and biomedical companies developed by leading researchers. The firm seeks scientist-founded companies with technical feasibility, favorable market prospects, multiple unique products/services, strong intellectual property and active participation from scientific founders.
Headquartered in Raleigh, GreenHawk Capital focuses on both early-stage and growth equity investments across a range of industries. The firm seeks companies with capital efficient business models and a strong competitive edge.
Based in Cary, Harbright Ventures invests in early-stage companies entering the software, services, technology, healthcare and industrial markets. Investments range from seed to Series A.
A local venture capital firm that typically invests in biopharma, diagnostics, healthcare IT and medtech startups based in North Carolina and throughout the Southeast. Many portfolio companies are affiliated with universities or research institutions.
A VC firm that focuses on seed and early-stage companies in North Carolina and throughout the Southeast, providing early investments from $100,000 to $750,000 per round. The firm will often revisit its portfolio startups as they develop, for even more investments in future rounds. Last year, Idea Fund was named North Carolina’s most active venture fund by CB Insights.
A collective of new and successful investors in the Research Triangle Park region from a diversity of disciplines. The fund supports seed-stage ventures primarily in the Triangle (but sometimes outside the region) with high growth potential.
Chapel Hill-based investment management firm Julz Co invests in early-stage biotech and medical device companies with solutions serving therapeutics, diagnostics and digital health. Julz funds companies with experienced management teams and novel/proprietary products addressing vital market needs.
Jurassic Capital is a private equity firm that was created out of Colopy Ventures, led by Joe Colopy, former founder and CEO of Durham-based Bronto Software (acquired by NetSuite and later Oracle). Colopy started Jurassic Capital in October 2019 alongside former Bronto executive Kevin Mosley. The firm is focused on acquiring and investing in Southeast U.S.-based B2B SaaS startups with annual recurring revenue of $1 million to $5 million.
Launched in 2020, Chapel Hill-based Leeds Illuminate invests in growth-stage companies offering technology in early childhood, K-12, higher education and workforce development.
Durham-based Leyline Renewable Capital invests in pre-construction renewable energy projects to help developers scale their business. The fund has backed a few projects in North Carolina, including poultry and swine waste projects and two landfill gas projects. Read more WRAL TechWire coverage here.
Run by longtime business executives Steve Vanderwoude and Phil Vanderwoude, Madison River Ventures invests in e-commerce and SaaS startups based in the Triangle area. The firm seeks early-stage investments from $100,000.
Based in Raleigh, MDO Holdings is an investment and management firm focused on venture investments and commercial real estate. Several prominent Triangle-area startups are included in MDO Holdings’ portfolio.
Raleigh-headquartered NovaQuest Capital Management provides strategic capital to life science and health care companies with cutting-edge drugs, technologies and services. The group was founded in 2000 as an investment arm of Quintiles Transnational (now IQVIA).
Raleigh’s One Better Ventures advises and invests in consumer brands that make a positive impact on the world. The firm also offers services spanning business development and brand strategy, company culture, growth, globalization, and more.
Raleigh-based Oval Park Capital is a venture capital firm focused on technology and enterprise software startups in the Southeast. The firm particularly seeks early-stage startups with proprietary technologies aiming to solve costly problems in large, inefficient industries. More TechWire coverage here.
Pappas Capital, now running for 25+ years, is a Durham-based VC firm that invests exclusively in the life sciences sector. Its portfolio companies span areas of biotech, biopharmaceuticals, drug delivery and medical devices.
Formed in 2012 as an extension of UNC REX Healthcare‘s innovation initiatives, REX Health Ventures targets early-stage to mid-stage companies developing healthcare services, healthcare IT, medical devices and biopharma technology. The fund’s portfolio includes several high-growth companies based in the RTP area.
River Cities Capital Funds invests in growth-stage startups with healthcare and IT products. The firm targets companies generating over $5 million in revenue. The size of initial investments ranges from $5 million to $15 million. Though it’s headquartered in Cincinnati, River Cities has a big presence in the Triangle, with an office in Raleigh and numerous local startups on its portfolio.
Durham investment firm River Wise Ventures aims to acquire Southeast-based companies with annual sales between $1.5 million and $20 million. Its focus is on startups in the Carolinas and Virginia.
A local seed and early-stage angel network that primarily supports tech-focused startups in North Carolina. Investments typically range from $100,000 to $500,000, and the group considers follow-on deals with startups that receive other investments from its members. The firm was recognized on The Angel Resource Institute’s list of the top 10 most active angel groups in 2016.
SJF Ventures is an impact investing VC firm headquartered in Durham. SJF typically invests $1 million to $10 million in companies focused on cleantech, sustainable agriculture, education and health, among other areas.
Founded in 2005 and based in Raleigh, Shah Capital is a sector-agnostic investing firm that centers around a “contrarian” investment philosophy with an emphasis on turnarounds and unique situations. The companies in its portfolio span a range of industries from pharmaceuticals to green energy.
Social Venture Circle is a Durham-based early-stage impact investing network that funds startups exploring ways to improve the environment, education and health.
Cary investment firm Solidarity Capital Group funds seed, early-stage or growth-stage startups who are building solutions to social and environmental problems. The firm typically invests around $50,000 to $250,000 initially, with the possibility to lead or participate in larger rounds up to $1 million. More WRAL TechWire coverage here.
Raleigh-based Sovereign’s Capital provides capital and strategic partnership to both early-stage ventures and lower middle market companies. The firm seeks opportunities with strong leadership teams, defensible advantages, growth focus, a thriving culture and proven performance. Several Triangle-area companies are included in the firm’s portfolio.
Launched in September 2020, RTP-based Sustainable Food Ventures focuses on the emerging sustainable food and grocery retail market, investing in early-stage startups with cell-based, plant-based and recombinant protein products.
This Danville, Virginia-headquartered organization expanded to Research Triangle Park a few years ago, offering local ventures access to pre-seed and seed capital. The organization also hosts an annual Big Launch Challenge, where startups pitch for a cash prize and capital opportunities.
Tiverton Advisors is a Triangle-based investor that exclusively focuses on agribusinesses. Equity deals range from $5 million to more than $50 million, focusing on production and processing agribusinesses, including permanent crops, row crops, dairies, poultry, and fruits and vegetables. More TechWire coverage here.
Triangle Angel Partners (or TAP) is a group of local angel investors who are also (or have experience as) executives, PhDs, successful entrepreneurs and professional investors. TAP formed in 2011 and is actively considering new investment opportunities (as of December 2020).
VentureSouth is an angel investor group based out of Greenville, South Carolina. The network of over 300 investors seeks to fund early-stage companies throughout the Southeast. VentureSouth typically invests between $250,000 to $1 million in startups with market-ready products and services.
+ Here are some university-affiliated angel and venture groups↴
Carolina Angel Network is an alumni base of 70,000 angel investors who are dedicated to linking UNC Chapel Hill’s entrepreneurial community with early-stage funding. The network facilitates financial transactions through a screening process, connecting student teams and companies with outside investor contacts and opportunities.
Carolina Research Ventures (or CRV) invests in seed to early-stage ventures founded by UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, trainees and staff. To date, CRV’s investments have ranged from $100,000 to $600,000, with reserves for follow-on investments. The fund is managed as a joint venture with Durham-based VC firm Hatteras Venture Partners.
Duke Angel Network funds student startups, so long as the ventures are led by founder(s) who are either Duke students, or part of the university’s alumni network, faculty or staff.
Duke University’s Impact Investing Group (or DIIG) is a student-run organization that provides capital, mentorship, pro-bono consulting, due diligence and other resources for businesses. Its investment division manages Duke’s first-of-its-kind impact VC fund, totaling $100,000 and targeting businesses in education, health, fintech, consumer products, energy and environment sectors. Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship oversees DIIG’s work.
NCCU's Eagle Angel Network
North Carolina Central University’s Eagle Angel Network was established in 2016 as a part of the Triangle Venture Alliance, a collaboration between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University and Duke University.
An arm of NC State University’s Office of Technology Commercialization and New Ventures, this fund provides up to $75,000 to short-term research projects that focus on commercial results.
Triangle Venture Alliance is a network of alumni angel groups that formed in partnership with Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill, NC State and NC Central University. The organization connects funding sources to startups founded by students, alumni, staff, faculty and families. As of 2021, the Triangle Venture Alliance has invested over $53 million into 73 portfolio companies since 2016.
UNC Kenan-Flagler Private Equity Fund is run by MBA and undergraduate students at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. The group was founded in 2007 and now manages more than $6 million in capital, with 46 portfolio companies, 23 exits and five dividend recapitalizations.
This group helps to provide seed and Series A equity capital to companies with some sort of NC State connection, whether it be a founder or executive who is a student, alumnus, faculty or staff member, or has licensed NCSU intellectual property. As of 2021, the group has invested $15 million since its founding in December 2016.