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The Aurora Funds Adds Dr. Tom McMurray As A Special Venture Partner

Former Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist Will Target DC-based Investment Opportunities and Provide Advisory Services to Portfolio Companies

Research Triangle Park, N.C. and Washington, D.C. (May 27, 2003) – The Aurora Funds, Inc., one of the leading early stage venture capital firms in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, announced today that Dr. Tom McMurray has joined the firm as a Special Venture Partner. This announcement follows on the closing of Aurora’s fourth fund in April of this year, which exceeded its original target of $75 million, raising a total of $85 million.
McMurray brings to Aurora more than two decades of experience as a venture capitalist and entrepreneur, having served as a general partner at Silicon Valley-based Sequoia Capital, which invested in companies including Yahoo!, Cisco Systems, Oracle, 3Com and Apple Computer. Prior to Sequoia Capital, McMurray worked for several venture-backed start-ups in Silicon Valley. He also served as Associate Professor and Associate Dean at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering.

“I have known Tom for more than twenty years and would be hard pressed to find anyone with such an amazing background and wealth of expertise,” explained Jeff Clark, Managing General Partner of The Aurora Funds. “His experience, investment track record and network of contacts position him to be a tremendous asset to both Aurora and our portfolio companies. Tom knows how to build strong companies from the ground up.”

McMurray will work closely with the Aurora team to identify promising new investment opportunities in the D.C. metro area, an area the firm is actively targeting.  Aurora already has four portfolio companies in the region, Blackboard, Engenia, InPhonic, and VetCentric.

“Having been an entrepreneur myself, I believe companies have one chance to get things right, which means they need the right support and guidance from the beginning,” said McMurray. “By joining Aurora, I have the unique opportunity and responsibility to help build substantial companies by seeding smart individuals from day one.”  

McMurray currently resides in the Washington, D.C. area where he is the Chairman and Founder of Marine Ventures Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to funding innovative programs that help protect and preserve the Ocean’s natural resources. He also maintains active roles on the Board of Visitors for the Duke University Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, NC and the advisory board of YouthNoise in Washington, D.C. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering, an MS and PhD, all from Duke University. 

McMurray will join the rest of the Aurora team in D.C. this week for the Mid-Atlantic Association Capital Connection conference, at which Aurora is a VC sponsor.

About The Aurora Funds
The Aurora Funds is a seed and early-stage venture capital firm providing capital, connections and strategic help to entrepreneurs with early stage life science and information technology companies. Since its inception in 1994, Aurora has invested in over 40 companies.  Aurora’s investment team members have over 35 years of combined venture capital experience and over 40 years of high technology operational experience. Aurora’s breadth of venture capital investment and operational experience enables the firm’s active approach to working with entrepreneurs to help build successful companies.  The firm is investing out of its recently closed fourth fund of $85 million, and has over $155 million of total capital under management. 

Aurora typically invests in seed and first round financing opportunities. The firm’s initial investment size ranges from $50,000 in a seed investment to as much as $2.0 million in a first round financing. The firm has the capacity to invest between $4 million and $7 million throughout the life cycle of an investment. More information is available at

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