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WNC Business

NC IDEA Foundation awards $150,000 to 15 NC startups

Apr 28, 2023 10:28AM ● By WNC Business

 DURHAM – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, announced today that the organization has awarded $150,000 to fifteen North Carolina startups in its tenth NC IDEA MICRO grant cycle. Since the inaugural cycle in Spring 2018, NC IDEA MICRO has awarded over $1.6 million to 162 young companies across the state.

Through small, project-based grants, NC IDEA MICRO awards $10,000 in funding to young companies looking to validate and advance their idea. The program, piloted in Spring 2018, was created as an expansion of the Foundation’s long-standing SEED grant program to provide funding to younger, promising startups not yet positioned for the Foundation’s traditional $50,000 grants.

“With ten MICRO grant cycles now under our belt, we continue to see a clear need from all parts of the state for funding and support to help young companies grow,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “Over the years, the cycles are also becoming more competitive and diverse which directly speaks to the economic potential of the state and the great work of our ECOSYSTEM partners to help level the playing field for all promising startups,” Ruhe added.

These fifteen NC IDEA MICRO grant recipients were chosen after a three-month competitive application and selection process that drew 182 applications from across the state:

In addition to announcing the NC IDEA MICRO grant recipients, the finalists for the 35th cycle of the $50,000 NC IDEA SEED grant were recently chosen from the 24 semi-finalists that had been selected from over 170 applications received in March. These finalists will present before a review panel and approximately five to seven grant recipients will be announced in early May. The twelve Spring 2023 NC IDEA SEED finalists are: Barespend (Charlotte, NC); b.combs (Cary, NC); Blue Pencil Box (Raleigh, NC); Boreas Monitoring (Wrightsville Beach, NC); (Cary, NC); DEI Directive (Charlotte, NC); Edison Marks (Weaverville, NC); Home For Life Design (Salisbury, NC); Salus LLC (Charlotte, NC); Tromml (Chapel Hill, NC); Vetletics Inc. (Cary, NC); and Wallwerx (Candler, NC).

NC IDEA is an independent private foundation committed to empowering North Carolinians to achieve their entrepreneurial potential. Through our powerful combination of competitive grants and programs, and a network of strategic partners, we help entrepreneurs when they need it most. NC IDEA’s resources are highly competitive, enabling the Foundation to support North Carolina’s most ambitious entrepreneurs. We believe entrepreneurs transform communities and view our work as a catalyst for positive change. Learn more at

Source: NC IDEA Foundation