The Wolfpack Investor Network (WIN) is an initiative focused on connecting alumni investors with promising NC State-affiliated startup companies to facilitate angel investments. WIN is also working collaboratively with the existing Duke Angel Network (DAN) and the proposed Carolina Angel Network (CAN) to establish the new Triangle Venture Alliance (TVA). Through this alliance, all three networks will share best practices, resources and ultimately investment opportunities.
The creation of WIN aims to enhance NC State’s brand as a university that drives economic, societal and intellectual prosperity through innovation. In mid-September 2016, the WIN Steering Committee made a presentation to the NCSU Endowment Board to establish a university sidecar fund named the Seed Capital Endowment Fund (SCEF).
Five of the six presenting startups companies to date have been awarded the Seed Capital Endowment Fund. WIN membership has exceeded its first year target with over 70 members to date. WIN has noted a large increase in both quantity and quality of startup companies seeking investment in 2017. Since October 1, 2016 WIN has been introduced to 87 startup companies. The companies have been quite diverse and have had ties to every college within the university, connecting WIN to students, faculty, and alumni across NCSU’s campus and beyond. WIN has held seven investor meetings and between the six companies that presented, 36 investors contributed a total of approximately $1.5 million.
Approximately 10 faculty members have aided in the WIN screening processes. WIN has coordinated with the Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (TEC) program to recruit graduate students earning MBA degrees from the Poole College of Management to complete the due diligence process for each company presenting to WIN members. The MBA students are benefiting from the educational opportunity of getting hands-on experience creating diligence reports for NCSU alumni to use to make sound investment decisions. Kenan Institute Associate Director Raj Narayan serves as a member of the WIN Steering committee.