ORLANDO-Central Florida’s image as a maturing high-tech investment sector is growing. Six locally-based firms attracted $311 million in venture capital during the third quarter and Florida itself was ranked sixth as a high-tech magnet area, according to a third-quarter analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Honors for the biggest deal, $156 million, went to NT Corp., a Pensacola, FL firm that creates voice, data and Internet communications products. CAVU Corp., an Orlando wireless Web access provider, won $55 million in a new financing round. TeraNex Corp., a local developer of digital image-conversion technology, picked up $50 million. Terion Inc. of nearby Melbourne, FL also received $50 million. Terion makes mobiles communications for the trucking industry.

In other Florida sectors, the Tampa-St. Petersburg area took in $122.5 million on five deals; South Florida companies attracted $115.6 million in 12 transactions; and Northeast Florida had four deals valued at $12 million.

Thirty-one firms in the state attracted a total $549 million. Florida was ranked behind California, Massachusetts, Texas, Colorado and New York.

Statewide, telecommunications deals came up with the bulk of the new funding, $381 million. Other categories that attracted fresh infusions were business services, $45 million; new media, $39.8 million; health-care services, $37.9 million; medical devices, $35.98 million; industrial, $6 million; biotechnology, $4.47 million; consumer services, $3.5 million; software, $1.8 million; and networking/equipment, $1.64 million.

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