Art Pappas

It might lack the intellectual cachet of life science in Boston-Cambridge and the Bay area, but North Carolina boasts a significant amount of research in biomedical fields. The work consistently produces both intellectual property and scientist-entrepreneurs eager to exploit it by forming startup companies. However, the state faces a significant shortage of traditional sources of startup funds. "The ratio of research dollars to venture capital dollars in North Carolina and the southeast is higher than elsewhere in the country," says Garheng Kong, general partner at Durham-based venture capital (VC) company, Intersouth Partners.

Nonetheless, most life scientists in North Carolina who want to take their research to market have been able to find sufficient startup support. Universities, state-government centers, VC companies, and...

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