On Wednesday, State Treasurer Janet Cowell announced a new $250 million North Carolina Innovation Fund.
Two-thirds of the sum will be earmarked for co-investments in diverse industries, including growth sectors in the state. The remaining third will have a multi-stage focus, according to Cowell’s office: venture, growth, buyout and mezzanine.
The announcement, made alongside former Bank of America Chair and CEO Hugh McColl, follows a fund initiative first announced five years ago.
That first fund has a coffer of about $232 million, of which $185 million has already been committed to eight private equity managers and 12 companies through co-investments alongside private equity managers. While it’s still early, the first fund has already shown a 20 percent internal rate of return, three successful exits and multiple valuation increases, according to the State Treasurer’s Office. The fund is managed by Grosvenor Capital Management’s Charlotte office.
“Five years ago, we launched an initiative that we hoped would benefit retired teachers and public employees and the economy of our state,” Cowell says via prepared statement. “We begin building on that success today by announcing a second Innovation Fund of $250 million that will continue investing in our own backyard.”