The Benchmark Study for N.C.'s Future in Entrepreneurship - 1

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The Benchmark Study for N.C.'s Future in Entrepreneurship - 1
If the first half of 2013 was all about IPOs in North Carolina's startup community, then the second half was all about venture capital.

A 2013 Innovators Report published this morning by CED totaled North Carolina's 2013 investments, grants and awards at $461.2 million from 108 unique sources. For the first half of 2013 (according to the inaugural Innovators Report last August), the state's startups raised $203 million from 49 (disclosed) investors.

The second half uptick gives a glimmer of hope to this year's lackluster venture capital tally. In the first quarter of 2014, Triangle-area venture capital investments totaled $32.1 million, the lowest point in nearly two years. Leaders in the state would love to regain North Carolina's position among the top 10 states for raising venture capital funds. According to CB Insights (and reported by ExitEvent partner WRALTechWire in January), the state slipped out of the top 10 in 2013, losing ground to Georgia and Florida in the Southeast.

CED leaders spent months compiling today's report, in hopes it provides benchmark measures for the state as it seeks to grow in prestige nationally as a viable place to build a high-growth potential business. And so, besides a tally of capital, it also highlights the year's nine initial public offerings, its three $1B or more mergers and acquisitions (and nine other smaller notable transactions) and the most significant deals and accolades for companies in the state.

From the Triangle tech community, those included Automated Insights' deals with Yahoo! Sports, Bloomberg, CBS and Gannett, Appia's 50 million sponsored app installs, Republic Wireless's Entrepreneur Magazine recognition as a "Disrupter" in the wireless industry, Adzerk's partnership with Reddit, Netsertive's with Google and Valencell's agreement with LG.

Also interesting about the report was the pool of investors listed-75 percent of funds came from outside the state last year. And some of the top national names in venture capital bought stakes in N.C. startups-New Enterprise Associates, Canaan Partners, FirstMark Capital, Techstars, DFJ Ventures and Polaris Partners.

The next report will come late summer, with a round up of activity from the first half of 2014. Only then can we begin to speculate about what all this data really means, and which state efforts are really moving the needle on funding, exits and the startup community's successes with important customers and deals.

'Til then, check out this infographic from the report.