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The Aurora Funds Adds Richard Holcomb As Special Venture Partner

Serial Entrepreneur Brings Extensive Software Start-up and Management Expertise

Research Triangle Park, N.C. (June 05, 2003) – The Aurora Funds, one of the leading early stage venture capital firms in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, announced today that Richard Holcomb has officially joined the firm as a Venture Partner. While Holcomb has been involved with Aurora for several years as part of the firm’s technology advisory board, he will take on a more active role as a Venture Partner. He joins Dr. Tom McMurray who also serves as a Venture Partner for Aurora Ventures IV, the firm’s $85 million fund that closed earlier this year.
Holcomb brings over 20 years of software executive management and investing experience to Aurora.  He has founded and/or led a number of early-stage companies. His most recent entrepreneurial endeavor is StrikeIron, a seed stage technology company focused on the emerging web services market, where he is a founder and serves as CEO and Chairman. Prior to StrikeIron, Holcomb served as the Interim CEO of GadgetSpace, a wireless technology company, and oversaw its successful acquisition by InPhonic in 2001. He was a founder of HAHT Commerce in 1995, a major e-commerce application provider, and served as HAHT's first CEO and Chairman.  He also founded Q+E Software in 1986, a supplier of client-server database access technology, and served as CEO, President, and Chairman from inception to its acquisition by Intersolv in 1994. 

Aurora has invested in several of Holcomb’s companies and witnessed that entrepreneurial talent first hand. “Richard has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to build successful software companies from the ground up.  As both an investor and entrepreneur, Richard understands first-hand the challenges and issues of launching, building and growing successful software companies.  It is invaluable to have a seasoned entrepreneur like Richard serve as a role model or mentor for less experienced or first-time entrepreneurs,” explained Scott Albert, Managing General Partner of Aurora. “As a Venture Partner, Richard will be actively involved with our portfolio companies, helping them build solid companies.”

In addition to working with Aurora’s portfolio companies, Holcomb will work with the Aurora team to evaluate promising new IT investment opportunities. 

“Many VCs look at investing simply as a numbers game, spending all their energy on the one investment they believe is most likely to succeed. The thing that sets Aurora apart is the team’s willingness to dedicate the extra time and effort necessary to help all of their companies succeed,” said Holcomb. “Aurora truly is a hands-on investor and works closely with the entrepreneurs to produce positive results.  Aurora focuses on true early-stage companies, often seeing promise in companies that other VCs have overlooked.”  

In addition to his own companies, Holcomb has been an active angel investor and consultant for several technology companies, and serves on the boards of several public and private technology companies including Neon Systems, ChannelAdvisor, IITS, and Ultimus. He also has served on a number of public advisory boards including the NCSU Graduate School Board of Advisors, the North Carolina Electronics and Information Technology Association (NCEITA) and the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED). During his career, Holcomb has won several awards including the 1993 Ernst and Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year for North Carolina and the 1996 Business Leader Top Gun Entrepreneur of the Year.

Holcomb earned a B.S. from the University of South Carolina and an M.S. in computer science from North Carolina State University.

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


Shawn Ramsey-Kroboth
SRK Communications (for The Aurora Funds)

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