New Enterprise Associates is running against the herd.

At a time when some venture firms are closing their doors or slashing investments in start-ups, Menlo Park’s NEA has barely blinked. It has poured more money into early-stage start-ups than any other venture capital firm during the past two quarters, according to data from the MoneyTree Survey, compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the National Venture Capital Association and Venture Economics.

To keep up the frenetic pace, partners have ruthlessly shed dead weight from their portfolio — presiding over round upon round of shutdowns and layoffs. They have also thrown out conventional wisdom on which sectors to invest in, and instead rely heavily on entrepreneurs close to the ground.