North Carolina is a leader among Southeast U.S. states in terms of money being invested in startups, according to a new study by Atlanta-based BIP Capital.

And the Research Triangle (Raleigh-Durham) area is among five regions where the level of startup funding is especially strong, “The State of Startups in the Southeast” report says. The others are Atlanta, Miami, Nashville, and northern Virginia.

“These geographic areas are emerging as market-leading tech innovation hubs, especially in certain sectors such as health care IT, cybersecurity, fintech (financial technology) and martech (marketing technology),” the report says. “At the state level, Florida, North Carolina and Georgia lead southeastern states with respect to deal activity and total investment dollars.”

So far in 2017, more than $736 million has been invested in new North Carolina companies.

“2017 is on track to be one of North Carolina’s best years yet in terms of dollars invested in innovation,” according to a post on BIP Capital’s website. “Most of these dollars are going into the biotech and pharma sectors.”

More than $1.6 billion of the $4.6 billion invested in North Carolina startups since 2012 has funded biotech and pharmaceutical startups, the report says. Those sectors have attracted more than 272 startup deals.

The report also notes that while the level of startup funding has remained relatively steady over the past three years, the number of deals has declined in most states. “Over the last two years, investors seem to be increasingly selective in choosing which companies to back,” the report says.

BIP Capital’s inaugural “The State of Startups in the Southeast” report provides an overview of the venture capital and startup ecosystem in nine states, looking at activity from Jan. 1, 2012, to Aug. 31, 2017.

“The Southeast holds great value for investors looking for access to great ideas and opportunities,” the BIP Capital post says. “It’s not just all about San Francisco and Boston anymore, and we want to be sure everyone knows that.”

Visit BIP Capital’s website  for further details and to download the full report.

Graphic Courtesy of BIP Capital