We’re Building HQ3
Forbes recently published that Jeff Bezos is the richest person on the planet; a title he trades with Bill Gates depending upon where markets close on any given day for Amazon and Microsoft stock, respectively.Excluding the inevitable half billion-dollar swings that the uber wealthy must endure from time to time, suffice to say he is doing pretty well for himself. Jeff Bezos’s entrepreneurial success is a great example for others. And the economic power of Amazon is exactly what has a couple hundred communities across the country vying to become home for their HQ2 expansion.I understand the allure of having such an economic juggernaut land in your backyard. I also understand how such a prospect can excite and motivate many people to come together to offer an attractive package of financial incentives in hopes of a winning lottery ticket. But only one community will be selected, leaving 200+ others to reflect on what they were willing to do AND hopefully pivoting that energy and incentives to invest in themselves.At NC IDEA, we believe it is better to build the next Amazon, not buy them. I also hope we can convince some of the many great organizations that came together to submit our best offering/s to consider supporting some of the many great efforts already here. With the resources and patience we were willing to bestow on Amazon, we could invest in ourselves.For our part, we are announcing today the 11 finalists from our Fall 2017 NC IDEA SEED Cycle that will be competing for $50,000 grants next week. With finalists from Asheville, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and the Triangle, it is clear, we can create companies of high potential.

My only regret with each cycle is that we have limited resources and there are more companies that are deserving of a grant than we have budget to make. I can only imagine what good we (the Foundation and our partners) could do for our great state with a fraction of the support that was offered to lure Amazon here. Let’s #investinourselves.

Entrepreneurially yours,
Thom Ruhe
President & CEO
NC IDEA FOUNDATION

 NC IDEA Selects 11 Finalists from Across the State in NC IDEA SEED Fall 2017 Grant Cycle

Congratulations to the following companies who will be moving forward to the final pitches for NC IDEA SEED. These finalists were chosen from 28 semi-finalists that had been selected from 155 applications from innovative startups from across the state of North Carolina.

27 Software– Charlotte, NC
Advocations– Charlotte, NC
Altis Biosystems– Chapel Hill, NC
Cultivate– Durham, NC
Faro10– Apex, NC
kelaHealth– Durham, NC

Loanable– Durham, NC
Neighbor– Winston-Salem, NC
No Evil Foods– Weaverville, NC
NoteNinja– Durham, NC
SalesSync– Cary, NC

The finalists will present before a review panel comprised of experienced investors, industry experts and entrepreneurs. Grant recipients will be announced in early December. The grants, which are up to $50,000 per recipient, are used to support a variety of activities for the growth of nascent firms. Read the full announcement.

NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM Update

 

First Flight Venture Center Awarded $50k from U.S. Small Business Administration

Congratulations to First Flight Venture Center, an NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM Partner, for winning $50,000 from the Small Business Association Accelerator Fund Competition.  In accepting these funds, First Flight Venture Center will be committing to bi-annual reporting for one year and will be required to report metrics on jobs created, funds raised, startups launched and corporate sponsors obtained among other pieces of information. These metrics will allow the SBA to maintain a useful dataset of accelerators and their impact, and to develop long-term relationships with the startups and constituents in these innovative and entrepreneurial communities. Read the full announcement.

Exciting Events for Entrepreneurs 

Attend November Venture Panel November 3rd

Flatiron Law Group, CED, and HQ Raleigh have teamed up to bring this event to the Triangle. Don’t miss a chance to be part of this conversation! A panel of venture capitalists from Silicon Valley and beyond are coming to HQ Raleigh to talk about raising venture capital. Learn what you need to do today to be ready to engage with venture investors tomorrow. Learn more and register here.

ExitEvent Startup Social in Wilmington November 8th 
Come celebrate the 23rd Cucalorus Festival with fellow entrepreneurs, startup community members and investors in Wilmington! ExitEvent is kicking off the annual Cucalorus Connect Conference with a startup social at downtown’s Might As Well Bar & Grill, in partnership with Stool Duel and Forrest Firm. RSVP here.
 

The Definitive Digital Marketing Gathering November 14th-16th
Internet Summit provides today’s digital marketing leaders with the tools, ideas, and practical solutions you need to build meaningful customer relationships and stay ahead of the ever-changing digital curve. Key topics featured at Internet Summit include: Content, Search & SEO, Email, Mobile + Video, UX + Design, Social, Strategy. More than 90 in-depth sessions planned, with the latest tactics and best practices. Register now!
Register for Southeast Fintech Venture Conference November 20th

The Southeast Fintech Venture Conference is an all-day event showcasing the top fintech companies in the Southeast. From true startups to hometown fintech success stories, this day will serve as a demonstration of the latest and greatest in fintech innovation. Be sure to join the prominent VC and growth firms, fintech entrepreneurs, and financial services executives in Charlotte, NC at the inaugural Southeast Fintech Venture Conference.

This will also be Demo Day for Class 7 of Queen City Fintech, which features fintech startups from all around the world who will have just spent twelve weeks incubating in Charlotte and the Southeast ecosystem. Register now!

Are you a Fintech company interested in pitching at this conference? Apply here.

 

American Underground Consumer Product Meetup in Wilmington November 30th

The American Underground, in partnership with the UNC-Wilmington Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and NC IDEA, will host a meetup for consumer product companies on November 30. American Underground executive Adam Klein will be on hand to talk about the Startup Stampede, a consumer product incubator program coming in 2018, that is free and open to Wimington area entrepreneurs. Join for a brief presentation at 4:45 and mingle over beer, wine and other drinks. Special thanks to UNC-Wilmington CIE leadership for partnering to host this event! RSVP now.
 

Register Now for the SBIR/STTR Symposium 

The 2017 SBIR/STTR Symposium takes a deep dive into the SBIR/STTR funding opportunities that are less current in North Carolina. Invited are agency representatives from DoD (Chem Bio, DARPA, Army), NASA, USDA, DOE and Homeland Security, each will discuss their SBIR/STTR funding mechanisms in detail.

Whether you are new to the SBIR program or are a seasoned awardee, this symposium will provide updates on many existing opportunities that may suit your projects. Don’t miss this symposium on December 4th from 9AM-4:30PM.

Early Bird Registration ends November 10th. More information and registration can be found here.

For more events happening in the ecosystem, visit our online calendar!