North Carolina's Research Triangle is the idol of industrial-policy advocates, who argue that the rest of the country ought to emulate its business-government cooperation. But 20 years of industrial policy have just imported such companies as IBM Corp. and General Electric Co. to the area, not created output or jobs that wouldn't have existed somewhere else. What may finally give the Triangle a better-late-than-never stake in company formation is an effort by the local business community to build a capital base and encourage risk-taking. Two recent hints of success: Intersouth Partners, a Research Triangle Park venture capital firm with $10 million to invest primarily in start-ups, attracted 70 potential deals in its first 10 weeks of looking. And a May venture capital fair at Duke University drew more than 100 investors and 25 companies seeking funds.
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