Venture / Seed / Angel Funding
Finding the right funding and investors is key for a successful business venture.



Cherokee McDonough Challenge

The Cherokee-McDonough Challenge is a startup competition and accelerator designed to identify, fund and develop early-stage, high impact environmental start-ups. It is an opportunity for an enterprising environmental entrepreneur to receive a seed investment of $20,000, as well as three months of free office space, back office support and advice from experienced entrepreneurs and investors. Additionally, we will host a showcase event to introduce your venture to other investors and the public.


The Startup Factory

Triangle Startup Factory, the most highly capitalized technology accelerator in the southeast, runs an intensive, three month program customized for early stage startup companies. Startups receive $50,000 in seed capital, hands-on mentorship, and access to our ever-widening network of active angels, veteran startup founders, and experienced technology experts. We get our hands dirty. Throughout the program, our hands-on mentors help you develop and refine your product, launch it to your target customer segments, and test your delivery and business models. All companies that successfully complete the accelerator will receive a convertible note of $20,000 to $150,000.


Angel Investor Organizations 

Acorn Innovestments

We believe that in the right environment and with the proper nurturing, acorns can grow into mighty oaks. Our mission is to find acorns (startups) with potential to benefit from the environment and nurturing that we are able to provide. We are focused on innovative business concepts/products where our past experiences and networks can serve to help nurture and grow the organizations. Acorn is well positioned to use its network and expertise in the manufacturing of advanced materials in order to nurture and grow new innovations and new companies that are solving current and future environmental problems. We have more than thirty years of experience with entrepreneurial manufacturing and industrial real estate and a network of established companies, mighty oaks, to help early stage ventures, little acorns, grow.


Inception Micro Angel Fund (IMAF)

IMAF is a member-managed, seed-stage angel capital fund model designed to capitalize on the growth in entrepreneurial activity and venture financing. The IMAF family of funds is composed of angel investment organizations in the six major regions of North Carolina - IMAF West, IMAF Triad, IMAF Cape Fear, IMAF RTP, IMAF East and IMAF Charlotte.


Piedmont Angel Network (PAN)

PAN is a member-managed angel investment group that focuses on investment opportunities in early-stage companies with high potential for rapid growth. PAN prefers life science, software, and technology investments in the North Carolina Piedmont Triad region, but companies from the neighboring states of South Carolina and Virginia that meet the group’s investment requirements are also welcome.


RTP Capital Associates

RTP Capital Associates is a consortium of individual accredited angel investors who are passionate about entrepreneurship and who have a sincere desire to help the entrepreneurs in whom they individually invest. Its members typically provide insight, guidance, mentoring, connections, and other strategic resources, including Board of Director representation, in an attempt to mitigate investment risk and enhance value for the regionally based seed stage companies in which they invest.


Southern Connection Angel Network

The Southern Connection Angel Network invests in entrepreneurs that are graduates from the top universities in the South, not just alumni from one school, and not just operating in one location. This allows them to access more quality investment opportunities and more interesting connections. Second, they stay focused on what they understand - software companies. Third, the Southern Connection Angel Network can roll-up their sleeves and tap  national connections to help their portfolio companies succeed. Fourth, the Southern Connection Angel Network are careful about investment valuations and like to invest when companies are starting to generate revenues, but have not scaled yet.


Triangle Angel Partners (TAP)

Triangle Angel Partners is an experienced band of angel investors, in the high tech and life sciences industries, interested in investing their time, analysis and money into early life cycle companies.


Venture Capital / Venture Banks 

The Aurora Funds, Inc.

The Aurora Funds is a family of venture capital funds committed to providing resources to help early stage healthcare and information technology companies reach their full potential. Since its founding in 1994, Aurora has invested in over 60 portfolio companies, resulting in five IPOs and eight M&A transactions.


Bandwidth Labs

Bandwidth Labs, the corporate venture arm of, seeks investments primarily in the telecom and communications space, as well as other types of disruptive technologies. Bandwidth plans to invest a mixture of debt and equity seed money in both internal ideas and external companies.


Cato BioVentures

Cato BioVentures is the venture capital affiliate of Cato Research, Ltd., a global contract research and development organization (CRO). For over 20 years, Cato BioVentures and Cato Research have partnered with entrepreneurs, academic institutions and a broad base of biotech and pharmaceutical companies to advance a robust portfolio of successful product development programs. Cato BioVentures focuses on early to mid-stage investment opportunities in private companies and undervalued public companies.


Excelerate Health Ventures

Excelerate Health Ventures was founded by experienced entrepreneurs with extensive startup and investment experience. Excelerate has specific scientific, business, financial, intellectual property and start-up experience. Excelerate invests in groundbreaking companies that change the way healthcare works.


Golden Pine Ventures

Golden Pine Ventures, LLC is a venture capital company that seeks biotechnology and biomedical opportunities developed by leading researchers.


Hatteras Venture Partners

Hatteras Venture Partners focuses on biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics and related opportunities in human medicine. With three funds, the firm has more than $120 million under management. The firm was founded in 2000.


Intersouth Partners

Intersouth Partners seeks a broad range of investment opportunities in the technology and life science sectors. Intersouth Partners has invested in more than 100 early-stage life science and technology companies since its founding in 1985. Intersouth manages $780 million in seven venture capital limited partnerships, making it the largest venture capital fund in North Carolina and one of the largest in the Southeast.


IDEA Fund Partners

Idea Fund Partners is a seed and early stage venture capital firm with offices in Durham, North Carolina and Orlando, Florida. IDEA Fund Partners invests mainly in the Southeast and focus on companies developing software, medical devices or other technologies where intellectual property is an important asset and source of differentiation from competitors.


Lookout Capital | Lookout Ventures

Lookout Capital invests in and works with up-and-coming growth companies and successful small businesses throughout North Carolina. Our platform features a distinguished team of over 40 principals, advisors and investors that are uniquely qualified to source and service these opportunities. The newly created Lookout Ventures division is part of Lookout Capital’s platform expansion to include seed & early stage investments on one end of its investment spectrum and buyout & controlling interest investments on the other end of the spectrum. Lookout Ventures will focus on investing in and working with North Carolina-based companies from conception up to $2 million in revenues. Initial investments will predominantly range from $250,000 to $1 million with the potential for follow-on investment.


Morehead Capital

Morehead Capital is a Raleigh, N.C. based hybrid investment partnership with an open mandate to invest in both publicly traded and privately held businesses. Our flexible investment directive and evergreen structure provide for a truly differentiated approach to investing. Through the Morehead Opportunity Fund, we work with management teams and business owners to structure and finance growth equity injections, recapitalizations, succession/estate planning transactions, and take-private transactions.


Pappas Ventures

Pappas Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests exclusively in the life sciences industry – biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, drug delivery, medical devices and related ventures. Pappas invests the largest share of its capital in companies whose lead products are at the Phase 1 or Phase 2 stage of development. Founded in 1994, Pappas Ventures has more than $350 million in capital under management. Pappas has guided the launch and/ or development of some 50 life sciences companies, and to date, a quarter of them have completed initial public offerings or successfully merged with corporate partners.


River Cities Capital Funds

River Cities Capital Funds seeks to invest in high growth information technology and healthcare companies that have a material customer base and are approaching profitability. Founded in 1994 in Cincinnati, Ohio, River Cities Capital Funds has $390 million under management and has an office in Raleigh, N.C.


Seventh Generation Ventures

Seventh Generation is the nation’s leading brand of household and personal care products that help protect human health and the environment. Seventh Generation Ventures, which was established in 2013, will seek to fund and accelerate socially responsible startups.


SJF Ventures

Since establishing its first venture fund in 1999, SJF has provided venture financing for and assisted companies with innovative ideas in resource efficiency & sustainability and tech-enhanced services. Representative investment areas include asset recovery and reverse logistics, efficiency and infrastructure, sustainable agriculture and food safety, health and wellness, education, digital media, and technology-enhanced services. The firm’s principals work closely with entrepreneurs to develop and pursue growth strategies, recruit additional management, obtain debt and equity capital, and execute company acquisitions.


Southern Capitol Ventures

Southern Capitol Ventures provides capital and strategic guidance to leading technology companies in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S. Specific areas of expertise include software, e-commerce, digital media, mobile and healthcare IT. Southern Capitol typically invests $500,000 initially and $1.5 million over the life of a company.


Silicon Valley Bank

Banking the world’s most innovative companies and exclusive wineries, SVB’s diverse financial services, knowledge, global network, and world class service increase our clients’ probability of success. With $23 billion in assets and more than 1,600 employees, we provide commercial, international and private banking through 34 locations worldwide.


Square 1 Bank

Square 1 Bank specializes in providing financial services to entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. We help growing companies and their investors navigate financial obstacles by providing access to funds and expertise. Our customized product offerings and unrivaled team of banking specialists provide a banking experience designed exclusively for you.


New Venture Competitions

Startup Madness

Startup Madness was born from a desire to gather the best university entrepreneurs in the region. The first year (2011) had participants from Duke, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State.



NC IDEA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization created to serve as a catalyst for young, high-growth, technology companies in North Carolina. We help these innovative companies mainly by providing early financing in the form of grants.


The Lulu eGames

N.C. State’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, in partnership with Lulu, hosts this annual event for students from all disciplines to collaborate to develop solutions to real world challenges. The Lulu eGames are open to all full-time and part-time N.C. State undergraduate and graduate students. Students working individually or in teams will compete for cash prizes totaling up to $30,000. Team and individual competition opportunities are available in areas that include but are not limited to web/IT development, B2B and retail products and services, biotech and energy, as well as social, nonprofit, and education development.


Invent Now Collegiate Inventors Competition

For the past 27 years, the Collegiate Inventors Competition has recognized and honored student inventors whose innovations could one day make significant contributions to society. More than $75,000 is awarded to winning undergraduate and graduate students and their advisors. All inventions submitted must be the original idea and work product of the student or student team with his or her faculty advisor.


NC Datapalooza

NC Datapalooza is an open data competition which connects local experts, innovators, and entrepreneurs to relevant, clean data drawn from federal, state, and local resources. This open data is used to develop applications and solutions that catalyze positive community and economic impact. The event focuses on using open data to spark innovation in the fields of health, education, and energy.


Southeast Bio/Plan Competition

The BIO/Plan Competition helps foster the creation of venture-attractive life science companies and the development of exceptional life science corporate partnering opportunities in the Southeastern U.S. Working closely with tech transfer offices and entrepreneurs, the competition seeks out and pulls forward opportunities from the region’s research universities, research centers and existing entrepreneurs.


Triangle Startup Weekend

Triangle Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event where developers, designers, marketers, product managers, and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups. Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.



Groundworkk aims to provide micro-funding and community support to deserving and inspiring local projects in Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina. The concept of groundworkk is simple... At groundworkk, attendees donate $5 to hear and learn about local, community ideas and projects through short presentations and Question/Answer sessions. Presentations are followed by refreshments, prepared by an aspiring area chef, during which attendees have the opportunity to discuss the creative ideas in a relaxed, communal atmosphere. During the refreshments, attendees vote for their favorite project/idea and the winning idea/project is awarded the funds raised from that evening’s event.

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