Through grant funding, NC IDEA SEED supports business activities that validate target markets, reduces risk associated with early stage companies and helps companies get to the point of suitability for growth funding; be that crowd funding, angel or venture capital investment. NC IDEA SEED provides $50,000 in non-dilutive funding to selected companies.

Applying to NC IDEA SEED

NC IDEA SEED has two grant cycles each year. Our Spring grant cycle typically opens in mid-February, while our Fall grant cycle typically opens in mid-August. The below timeline includes the important dates and deadlines for our Spring 2018 Grant Cycle.

Spring 2018 Grant Cycle

January 16 – Triad NC IDEA SEED Info Session hosted by Launch Greensboro

January 22Research Triangle NC IDEA SEED Info Session hosted by NC IDEA

January 25 – Wilmington NC IDEA SEED Info Session hosted by NC IDEA

January 30Charlotte NC IDEA SEED Info Session hosted by Ventureprise

January 31Asheville NC IDEA SEED Info Session hosted by Venture Asheville

February 7Greenville NC IDEA SEED Info Session hosted by ECU

February 9 – February 23NC IDEA SEED Virtual Office Hours – Sign-Up Here

February 12 – Spring 2018 NC IDEA SEED Grant Cycle Opens – Apply Now

February 26 – NC IDEA SEED Grant Application Submission Deadline
*All pre-proposals must be submitted and received by 5:00pm EST (no exceptions)*

March 16 – Notifications and Full Proposal Invitations Sent

March 26 – Full Proposal Submission Deadline

April 18 – Notifications and Finalist Invitations Sent

April 23-25 – Pitch Scrub Sessions

April 27 – Finalist Presentations

May 2 – Notifications and NC IDEA SEED Grant Recipients Announced

NC IDEA solicits seed grant applications twice per year, typically in February and again in August. The application window is open for approximately 4 weeks. All applicants are required to complete NC IDEA’s pre-proposal, which can be accessed online during each active application cycle. NC IDEA uses an online application portal that allows applicants to create an account so applications may be saved, reviewed and submitted prior to the stated deadline. The pre-proposal asks you to provide detail on various aspects of your company. The pre-proposal application has character count restrictions requiring you to provide clear, concise answers. Typically, between 150-180 companies will apply and submit a pre-proposal each grant cycle.

Following the application deadline, pre-proposals will be reviewed by a review team including NC IDEA staff, NC IDEA fellows, investors and other partners in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Companies will be notified of their status and receive specific feedback on their application. Typically, 20-30 applicants will be selected to progress to the semi-finalist phase. Semi-finalists will have a week to 10 days to complete a “full proposal” allowing them to elaborate on information in their pre-proposal and incorporate feedback from the reviewers.

Full proposals will allow semi-finalists to update their previous application without restrictions on character counts, although being concise is still highly encouraged. Each semi-finalist will also schedule a 15-minute phone interview with NC IDEA.

Full proposals are then reviewed by a review team. Approximately 10-12 semi-finalists will become finalists and be invited to pitch to NC IDEA’s review team. Each company will be given 10 minutes to pitch and have 15 minutes for Q&A. Ultimately, 5-6 companies will be awarded a grant.

NC IDEA SEED Grant Recipients

Each grant cycle, NC IDEA will select between 5-6 companies to receive a $50,000 seed grant. Companies selected will spend subsequent weeks after their award date working with NC IDEA to solidify an appropriate use of funds, milestones and a timeline. Grant funds will typically be released over the span of 6-12 months in four separate milestone-based tranches. Grant recipients will provide written and in-person progress report updates prior to the release of each tranche. Beyond grant funding, NC IDEA partners with grant recipients to provide advice and make introductions to our wide network of advisors, partners and investors. Grant recipients are also invited to participate in workshops and speaker sessions when NC IDEA LABS is in session.

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