As the Foundation’s strategic planning process continues to unfold, we have ambitions to do more with greater impact, specifically, help more North Carolinians start and grow companies.
NC IDEA SEED, our $50K seed grant program that has existed since the organization’s inception in 2006, has awarded over $5 million in grant funding to 125 companies. These companies have gone on to raise over $220 million in both equity and non-dilutive funding and have generated 1,000 jobs in the state. And nearly 70% of these companies are still operating today. However, we have seen an increasing demand of younger companies not yet positioned for these larger grants, where a small amount of funding would make a significant impact.
To that end, yesterday we announced a Micro-Grant Pilot Program, an expansion of our long-standing NC IDEA SEED grant program. This Summer’s pilot will award project-based grants in the amount of $1K to $10K to young companies looking to validate and advance their idea or validate scalability. Read the full announcement here.
We are seeking applications from NC-based startups with innovative products or business models with the potential of becoming a $5M company in 5-7 years. We realize these companies will be earlier on in their life cycle than our traditional applicants. We are particularly interested in high-ambition startups and founders outside of our traditional software and hardware focus; and are also seeking companies existing in North Carolina’s rural and economically distressed counties. More information on our Micro-Grant Pilot Program, as well as upcoming info session dates and deadlines can be found here.
We hope you will join us in sharing this opportunity with ambitious entrepreneurs in your networks; or if you are a young entrepreneur yourself, consider applying to this program.
Many thanks and entrepreneurially yours,
President & CEO
NC IDEA FOUNDATION