We believe that our commitment to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina is best achieved by working in partnership with others. The NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM grant program is designed to:

  • Identify (and support) new partners doing inspired things to help entrepreneurs
  • Provide a means for our organization to foster relationships, dialog and learning between ECOSYSTEM partners
  • Better understand how we may (collectively) support more people in their ambition to start and grow companies that will strengthen the economy of North Carolina
  • Encourage more organizations and individuals to support and participate in efforts to make North Carolina the best state in the nation to start and grow great companies


Program History

On September 8, 2016, NC IDEA announced a cohort of nine organizations selected as our first NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM grant recipients. The nine organizations were selected from 50 applications received. The grants were 2 and 3-year durations and ranged from $75,000 to $250,000 in funding.

Since 2016, we have added more partners bringing the total to 35. Meet our NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM Partners and learn more about the organizations and activities we are funding.

Over the last four years, through our relationships and activities, we have learned many interesting things about the diverse entrepreneurial ecosystems of North Carolina. Most notably, we have learned there are multiple ecosystems within the state, all with varying levels of the requisite building blocks to strengthen the economy; namely, access to organizations and their programs, and access to networks and their resources. If we are to fulfill our statewide mission, we cannot do so alone from NC IDEA’s home office in Durham; we must partner with organizations who know and understand local needs.


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