In the article, Triangle’s Intersouth stops making new investments, Triangle Business Journal’s Lauren K. Ohnesorge reported that Intersouth Partners, the largest venture capital fund in North Carolina, will no longer make investments in new companies.
Smith Anderson partner Merrill Mason provided insight into how Intersouth’s exit will impact new businesses and entrepreneurs in the Triangle. The head of Smith Anderson’s Start-Ups practice with a focus on venture capital, Merrill said, “They didn’t just write a check. They had a network of investors around the country to bring in those deals. There was a significant multiplier effect.”
According to Monica Doss, principal of New City Ventures and former founding president of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, those out-of-state connections drove the start-up movement in the Triangle. She credits Intersouth and its founder, Dennis Dougherty, with the insight necessary for attracting out-of-state investors, particularly before the Triangle start-up scene took off.
Merrill noted the entrepreneurship market will notice the loss of Intersouth’s investments and that of its larger network. However, despite its decision to not invest in new companies, the article noted that Intersouth continues to funnel cash into its portfolio firms.
Merrill’s practice focuses on entrepreneurial and emerging enterprises, with extensive experience representing technology and life sciences companies. He is passionate about working with developing entrepreneurs and law students, and has taught as an adjunct instructor at both the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and also the School of Law.