Wolfpack Investor Network Empowers NC State’s Global Impact with Harbright Ventures Partnership
The Wolfpack Investor Network (WIN), NC State University’s alumni-driven, early-stage investor group, is partnering with Harbright Ventures to enhance WIN member engagement, provide pre- and post-deal investment leadership and increase support for the broader NC State entrepreneurial community. This collaboration will strengthen opportunities and professional support for WIN members, NC State students and WIN portfolio companies.
“With WIN investments surpassing $20 million across 34 portfolio companies, alongside a leadership transition, this was a prime opportunity to restructure and take WIN to the next level by bringing in new expertise and support,” said Wade Fulghum, assistant vice chancellor for research commercialization and the chair of WIN’s steering committee.
NC State is already a leader in innovation research commercialization. This year, the nonprofit Heartland Forward ranked NC State second among all U.S. public universities in research technology transfer and commercialization. NC State also ranked second among universities — public and private — without medical schools and seventh among all U.S. universities. Working with Harbright Ventures will increase the university’s ability to serve researchers and investors alike.
“This partnership embodies NC State’s Think and Do spirit by fostering collaboration and leveraging expertise throughout the community for the benefit of our students. The innovative work of the Wolfpack Investor Network (WIN) aligns closely with key elements of the university’s strategic plan, Wolfpack 2030: Powering the Extraordinary, including empowering students for a lifetime of success and impact, elevating the national and global reputation and visibility of NC State, and leading in developing innovative partnerships, entrepreneurial thinking and applied problem-solving,” said Chancellor Randy Woodson.
Harbright Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Cary, North Carolina, provides financing to early stage, high-growth companies based primarily in the Southeast. The group benefits stakeholders by embracing diverse sectors, providing thorough due diligence, following a robust investment philosophy, and providing significant post-investment support to portfolio companies.
“Harbright knows that NC State provides great value to the state of North Carolina through its research, innovation and product development,” said Robert Ross, a founding partner of Harbright Ventures. “Our investment strategies are well aligned, and together, we can ensure that investment opportunities are managed to the benefit of WIN members and NC State-affiliated companies.”
As Harbright joins WIN, the investor network’s potential portfolio bandwidth will significantly increase. The new team approach will increase the ability to evaluate potential companies, grow membership within the network, and expand investment offerings nationally.
The Wolfpack Investor Network (WIN) was launched in December 2016 as a university-affiliated nonprofit LLC. It showcases the university’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by curating university-affiliated investment opportunities for its investor members. WIN provides members with a professionally managed investment platform as well as an opportunity to collaborate and network with other like-minded alumni, parents and friends of the university who are interested in early-stage investing. Since its inception, WIN has collectively invested approximately $20 million into 34 portfolio companies spanning industries such as food science, medical devices, advanced materials and novel therapeutics. WIN has received support from the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund, Kenan Institute for Engineering Technology & Science, Office of Research Commercialization, Academic Outreach and Entrepreneurship, the Economic Development Administration, NC IDEA, and the Poole College of Management. To find out more about the Wolfpack Investor Network, please visit https://research.ncsu.edu/win/.
Harbright Ventures is an early stage investment and advisory group that fuels the growth of extraordinary ideas and provides capital, connections, and strategic guidance to portfolio companies. Founded in 2014, Harbright is sector agnostic, but primarily invests in the life sciences, B2B SAAS, and industrial technology verticals. Harbright offers fund, SPV, and specialty debt structures to its investors. For more information please visit harbrightventures.com.