Treasurer Cowell visits Raleigh-based StepLeader, an NC Innovation Fund portfolio company

North Carolina Treasurer Janet Cowell visited Stepleader in Raleigh.  StepLeader, an innovative mobile app developer and advertisement platform, recently received an investment from one of North Carolina Innovation Fund’s (NCIF) private equity managers, River Cities Capital Funds (River Cities). Treasurer Cowell established the Innovation Fund to support and invest in businesses like StepLeader that have significant operations in North Carolina and earn an attractive rate of return for the state’s pension fund. River Cities’ investment has allowed StepLeader to more quickly scale up, adding technical and marketing professionals to its team, as well as expanding its software offering into new industry sectors.

“North Carolina is a good investment. We can protect and grow our pension fund while helping homegrown companies create jobs,” said Treasurer Cowell. “Investing in high-growth companies like StepLeader is exactly what we envisioned when we established the Innovation Fund.”

During Treasurer Cowell’s visit today, she met with StepLeader’s Executive Team and many employees of the approximately 34-person company. After taking a tour of the office space, Cowell discussed the Innovation Fund and received a walk-through of the company’s product development process.

“StepLeader is excited to welcome Treasurer Cowell into our office,” StepLeader CEO Brian Handly said. “As a result of our fundraising, we’ve been able to bring on new team members, strengthen our mobile product offerings and expand our mobile advertising sales capabilities. We pride ourselves on being innovators in the mobile industry, and one of the largest app developers in the Southeast.”

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