NC Treasurer Talks Innovation Fund @ American Tobacco

Janet Cowell visited American Tobacco in Durham last night for a late afternoon update on the Innovation Fund as well as an informal panel discussion with local entrepreneurs. The panel included: – James Avery, CEO, Adzerk – Jud Bowman, CEO, Appia – Joe Davy, CPO, EvoApp – Chris Porter, COO, Clinipace – Sloan Rachmuth, CEO, HealtheMe – Rachel Weeks, CEO, SchoolHouse. About 100 jammed into the classroom in the American Underground for about 1 1/2 hours to talk about the need for more capital in the area. Ms. Cowell shared that about $100M of the $235M has been invested in 3 funds (including Hatteras) and 6 individual later stage investments. She also added that there are plans for a Life Science directed fund possibly announced in the fall. Discussion themes included jobs, startup & expansion capital, large company vs small company support, tax incentives for founders and investors, the disappointment in the shutdown of LaunchBox (our local accelerator) and the lack of a direct flight to the west coast. One one hand, I was energized to see a pretty diverse group of people come together. On the other hand the accelerator discussion from James, Jud and Sloan brought one of

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