NC IDEA SEED provides $50,000 in non-dilutive funding that supports business activities to validate target markets, reduce risk associated with early stage companies and help startups grow and scale.
Grant recipients work with NC IDEA to implement a timeline with an appropriate use of funds and milestones. Grant funds are typically released over the span of 6-12 months in separate milestone-based tranches. Prior to the release of each tranche, grant recipients report on their progress. Beyond grant funding, grant recipients receive support from NC IDEA through mentorship, introductions and programming.
NC IDEA solicits $50K seed grant applications twice per year, usually in mid-February and again in mid-August. We typically receive 150-180 applications each grant cycle. Applications are reviewed by the NC IDEA team, investors and other partners in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Companies are notified of their status and receive specific feedback on their application. From each applicant pool, approximately 20-30 companies are selected to progress to the semi-finalist phase. Semi-finalists are given a week to 10 days to complete a “full proposal” allowing them to elaborate on information provided in their original application and incorporate feedback from the reviewers. Each semi-finalist also schedules a 15-minute phone interview with NC IDEA. Approximately 10-12 semi-finalists progress to the finalist phase and are invited to pitch. Each company gives a 10-minute pitch followed by 15 minutes of Q&A. Ultimately, 5-7 companies are awarded a $50K seed grant. The below timeline includes the important dates and deadlines for our current Fall 2018 Grant Cycle.
August 13 – NC IDEA SEED RTP Info Session – Register
August 15 – NC IDEA SEED Charlotte Info Session – Register
August 16 – NC IDEA SEED Asheville Info Session – Register
August 20 – Fall 2018 NC IDEA SEED Grant Cycle Opens
August 20-28 – NC IDEA SEED Virtual Office Hours – Schedule
August 22 – NC IDEA SEED Greenville Info Session – Register
August 23 – NC IDEA SEED Wilmington Info Session – Register
August 30 – NC IDEA SEED Greensboro Info Session – Register
August 30 – NC IDEA SEED Winston-Salem Info Session – Register
September 10 – Fall 2018 NC IDEA SEED Grant Application Submission Deadline
*All pre-proposals must be submitted and received by 5:00pm EST (no exceptions)*
September 28 – Notifications and Semi-Finalist Full Proposal Invitations Sent
October 8 – Full Proposal Submission Deadline
October 30 – Notifications and Finalist Invitations Sent
November 5-8 – Finalist Pitch Scrub Sessions
November 9 – Finalist Presentations
November 15 – Notifications and NC IDEA SEED Grant Recipients Announced
When evaluating an NC IDEA SEED grant application, we assess the strengths and weaknesses of a company across the following areas:
Market and Business Model
Grant Request and Funding