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NC IDEA FOUNDATION Selects 12 Finalists from Largest and Most Geographically Diverse NC IDEA SEED Applicant Pool in Foundation’s History

Read original press release at NC IDEA website.

Finalists Seeking $50,000 Each in NC IDEA’s 25th SEED Grant Cycle

DURHAM, NC – April 12, 2018 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic advancement in North Carolina, announced today that the organization has selected 12 finalists from across the state from its largest and most geographically diverse NC IDEA SEED applicant pool in the Foundation’s history.

The finalists were chosen from the 25 semi-finalists that had been selected out of the record-breaking 185 submissions. This grant cycle translated to the most geographically diverse applicant pool since the program’s inception, and for the first time, more than half of the submissions came from outside of the Triangle region, with one-third of North Carolina’s 100 counties represented. Over 80% of the finalists are from outside of the Triangle, surpassing the overall geographic span of submissions.

NC IDEA’s competitive NC IDEA SEED finalist pool continues to reflect the expansion of entrepreneurship across the state,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “We are seeing unprecedented levels of activity from areas outside of our major metropolitan regions, indicative of North Carolina’s growing innovation economy,” Ruhe added.

The twelve Spring 2018 NC IDEA SEED Finalists include:

The finalists will present before a review panel comprised of experienced investors, industry experts and entrepreneurs. Approximately five to seven grant recipients will be announced in early May. The $50,000 grants are intended to support business activities that validate target markets, reduce risk associated with early stage companies and help companies get to the point of suitability for growth; whether through investment or revenue. In addition to the funding, winners will also benefit from mentoring by successful entrepreneurs and experienced investors; use of MBA interns; in-kind services from attorneys, accountants and marketing consultants; public recognition and access to growth capital.

NC IDEA is an independent private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic advancement in North Carolina. Today, the organization fulfills this mission through multiple grant and assistance programs. NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM funds organizations across the state that execute creative programs to support entrepreneurs. Similarly, NC IDEA ENGAGE is a community-focused grant program supporting individuals and organizations that facilitate entrepreneurship activity. Over the last decade, the NC IDEASEED program has awarded over $5M in non-dilutive grants to 125 high-growth companies across the state. Since 2011, over 150 companies have participated in NC IDEA LABS, formerly Groundwork Labs, to guide founders developing an idea or product. NC IDEA SOAR, a program founded in 2012, supports female entrepreneurs leading scalable businesses in raising capital through mentorship, strategic advice and connections. NC IDEA LEAD, the Foundation’s newest program, provides leadership training for founders of high-growth companies. Learn more at