The following organizations have been awarded an NC IDEA ENGAGE grant:

  • 1 Million Cups (RTP) – A weekly event for local entrepreneurs to meet and present their startups to the thriving peer network of founders in RTP. The coffee is highly encouraged. 2017 Recipient
  • Appalachian State University Career Development Center (Boone) – Appalachian State University, in the High Country of North Carolina, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. NC IDEA ENGAGE is supporting the first TalentJam in Boone, NC. Talent Jam, a one-of-a-kind pitch event that connects job seekers with opportunities and employers. 2019 Recipient
  • Asheville-Area Food Guild (Asheville) – The Asheville-Area Food Guild is an inclusive community of small food and beverage businesses based in Western North Carolina, collaborating to build a strong regional reputation and to empower brands to scale up profitably with integrity. 2018 Recipient
  • Black Business Expo 2018 (Durham) – This exposition is a recurring event that has historically sought to connect business owners around the Research Triangle area. The organization is now seeking to expand to connect historically underutilized businesses throughout North Carolina. Connecting to others competing in similar industries in different geographical areas creates an option for business owners to pool their resources to provide services or goods to contracts for which they would not be competitive working in isolation. 2018 Recipient
  • Black Entrepreneurship Week (Raleigh) – Black entrepreneurs and small business owners from across the state will engage in thought-provoking talks, panels and community-building in Raleigh, NC. 2017 Recipient
  • Black Wall Street Homecoming (Durham) – An annual networking conference for early-stage entrepreneurs, focused on the intersection of content, connections and culture. Celebrate and learn from diverse, multicultural entrepreneurs, their investors and the community that supports them. 2018 Recipient
  • BLKTECHCLT (Charlotte) – This NC IDEA ENGAGE grant supported a black tech ecosystem success academy designed to bring city startup leaders and local economic development leaders together to discuss, train and engage them on the data and challenges affecting Charlotte’s black entrepreneurs and startups. This program was an all-day roundtable conference designed to share insights and navigate the needs of Charlotte’s local entrepreneurial community and the diversity emerging from previously siloed sectors. 2018 Recipient
  • Camp Girl Boss (WEWNC) (Asheville) – #CampGirlBoss is a powerful day-camp experience for girls between the ages of 11 – 13 years old. The 2018 event was held on campus at UNC Asheville and was taught by some of the most successful women leaders from across WNC. During the summer of 2019, there will be several camps hosted across Western North Carolina. 2017 Recipient
  • Catawba County Chamber of Commerce (Hickory) – The Edison Project is the region’s only entrepreneurial competition that aims to find, potentially fund and help entrepreneurs and business start-ups who have an idea for an innovative, viable business launch in the Greater Hickory Metro. Finalists will have exclusive access to a team of business advisors and local entrepreneurial resources and will vie for seed investment dollars in the amount of $8,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place and $3,000 for third place, as well as incentives for other special categories. 2018 Recipient
  • Center for Creative Economy (Winston-Salem) – Center for Creative Economy, CCE, serves as a Hub for creative entrepreneurs and creative business owners. CCE’s mission is to Launch, Grow, and Accelerate creative enterprises through its programs and resources. CCE’s vision is “to be known as a premier economic development organization that is building the creative economy and creative community in Winston-Salem, the Triad, North Carolina, and the Southeast region. 2018 Recipient
  • City Startup Labs (Charlotte) – City Startup Labs (CSL), a Charlotte, NC-based organization, has been addressing the entrepreneurial divide, where under-represented populations of African American millennials, as well as returning citizens (the formerly incarcerated) are not adequately participating in entrepreneurship, startup activity and business building. CSL creates this new class of entrepreneurs through programming provided at its Center of Excellence for Entrepreneurial Competency, Leadership and Innovation (CoE), by providing a robust, accelerated, progressive and disciplined approach to developing entrepreneurial talent, new venture creation and deployment over the course of six months. 2019 Recipient
  • Code The Dream (Durham) – Code the Dream partnered with NC IDEA to provide under-served entrepreneurs with Code the Dream to provide low cost, high quality technical assistance from their students. In short, the idea is to create a win-win opportunity for Code the Dream’s diverse student developers to gain further experience while developing software for under-resourced NC entrepreneurs in need of an app or software solution to launch or scale their business. 2018 Recipient
  • Collective Hustle (Charlotte) – A Charlotte investor and startup coalition looking to improve the Queen City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. One of the key missions is to broaden the Charlotte entrepreneurial network by proactively inviting female and minority entrepreneurs and investors to events. In addition to supporting the group directly, NC IDEA also sponsored the 2019 Seed The South conference. 2018 Recipient
  • DHIT Global Summit (Raleigh) – Creating a global health ecosystem, The Summit brings together a diverse mix of stakeholders from across the digital health ecosystem, from providers, researchers and policymakers, to entrepreneurs, technologists and investors. The emphasis is on demand-side participants, those actively looking for new knowledge, relationships and innovations. 2017 Recipient
  • E4 Carolinas (Charlotte) – E4 Carolinas is the trade association for North Carolina and South Carolina energy companies and organizations. It is a non-profit association organized and governed by its members to increase the value and success for them and the Carolina economy. NC IDEA sponsored the Southeast Energy Innovation Collaborative Summits with the goal to establish the Carolinas as a national energy innovation leader by bringing together over 100 energy professionals who have been selected to identify and quantify the issues keeping us from realizing our energy. innovation potential. 2018 Recipient
  • East Carolina University College of Business (Greenville) – The Rural Prosperity Initiative is an institution-wide effort to aid in revitalizing and increasing the resiliency of eastern North Carolina (ENC), through the creation of partnerships with government, industry and community groups for job creation, technology enhancements and health innovations for overall improvements in rural Eastern North Carolina. NC IDEA ENGAGE supported a new programming effort for the School of Hospitality Leadership and the Miller School. The project will utilize a workshop format to teach and train founders of micro-businesses in Tier 1 counties in ENC on the exit planning process. 2019 Recipient
  • Freelance League of North Carolina (Durham) – The Freelance League of North Carolina is a 1,000-person community organized in 2017 by Margaret McNab and Julienne Alexander. To support its mission of promoting the advancement of the independent workforce, the Freelance League spearheads networking events, skillshare programming and e-communications. They create an environment where freelancers connect, find work, share knowledge and meet new collaborators. 2019 Recipient
  • Greensboro Community Development Fund Minority and Women in Business Engagement and Inclusion Summit (Greensboro) – GCDF serves the purpose of providing financial assistance to small businesses located in Greensboro and neighboring communities underserved by traditional financial institutions, in the form of loans, subordinated debt, and equity investments to enable such businesses to obtain the capital needed to develop an effective business enterprise. NC IDEA sponsored the Minority and Women in Business Engagement and Inclusion Summit in 2017. 2017 Recipient
  • Halifax Community College (Weldon) – Halifax Community College’s mission is “to meet the diverse needs of its community by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable education, training, and services for a rapidly changing and globally competitive marketplace.” The NC IDEA ENGAGE grant will helps address the repair of the greenhouse which will enable the college to build on the momentum of its Agriculture Entrepreneurship Certification Program by allowing students who graduate from the program to move immediately into a reasonably priced growing incubator at the Greenhouse Hub. 2019 Recipient
  • HatchAVL Foundation (Asheville) – Hatch AVL Foundation is a non-profit organization serving the startup and high-growth entrepreneurship space of Western North Carolina. The organization serves the 25 counties of WNC through delivery of high-targeted programming, a regional mentoring program and a coworking and incubator space in Downtown Asheville. The capstone mission is called 10-10-5, with the goal of catalyzing 10 WNC headquartered companies to reach $10 million in annual revenue within 5 years. NC IDEA ENGAGE sponsored the Hatch This competition in 2018. 2018 Recipient
  • The Helius Foundation (Durham) – The NC IDEA ENGAGE grant provided training for a cohort of 15 small businesses, particularly located in the poorest neighborhoods in northeast central Durham. The goal is to build 30 small businesses with an average of 2 or 3 employees, all hired at a fair living wage. This is the equivalent of opening a small plant to the area, all while creating self-sustainability and the ability to give back to the community itself. 2017 Recipient
  • The Helius Foundation (Durham) – This ENGAGE grant provided support for Ice House deployment for people interested in participating in the LaunchDURHAM program. 2019 Recipient
  • Hygge Coworking (Charlotte) – Hygge Coworking is a dynamic and inclusive coworking community comprised of easy and affordable space that encompasses a feeling of comfort to inspire collaboration and elevate individuals and companies to succeed. Its mission is to support building community and the growth of Charlotte’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. NC IDEA ENGAGE sponsored monthly Founder’s Lunches, as well as Pitch Deck Workshops. 2018 Recipient
  • Innovate Raleigh (Raleigh) – Founded in 2011, Innovate Raleigh supports a strong and vibrant community by bringing together key stakeholders within the ecosystem—entrepreneurs, investors and supporting organizations. The organization focuses on connecting entrepreneurs to three core elements to fuel their growth— funding, talent and opportunities. The organization approaches its mission with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion, fostering entrepreneurship within underserved communities while connecting to the broader entrepreneurial communities in neighboring cities. NC IDEA ENGAGE sponsored the 2018 Innovate Raleigh Summit. 2018 Recipient
  • Innovate Raleigh in partnership with the News & Observer (Raleigh) – Great storytelling is a powerful tool in connecting entrepreneurs to the resources that they need most — customers, funding and talent. Collectively, the stories told to the world are vital in shaping the community’s future. To that end, Innovate Raleigh is working with the News & Observer in creating a multi-year journalism fellowship program that adds capacity by allowing for the creation of high quality news and feature coverage of the region’s technology, innovation and entrepreneurship sectors. As part of the program, a beat reporter at the N & O will provide independent coverage of entrepreneurs, companies and key issues in Raleigh and across the Triangle. 2019 Recipient
  • Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University (Raleigh) – The Institute for Emerging Issues is a non-partisan, statewide public policy organization that identifies and builds consensus on policy issues across sectors, regions and perspectives, connecting North Carolina to ideas and North Carolinians to each other to better the state and its communities. The organization seeks to create a North Carolina connected for a vibrant and economically competitive tomorrow. As a unit of North Carolina State University, IEI advances the university’s research, service and outreach contributions statewide. NC IDEA ENGAGE sponsored the Re-connect Urban and Rural conference. 2019 Recipient
  • Junior Achievement Central Carolinas (Charlotte) – Junior Achievement has been opening the minds of the country’s greatest entrepreneurs since 1919. The organization is innovative, forward thinking and adaptable as it fosters innovation, creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit among the youth. Through the JA Company Program, high school students, through the support of a volunteer mentor over a 13-week period, create a small business and learn the ins-and-outs of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. The JA Company Program Model unlocks the innate ability in students to solve a problem or fill a need in their community through an entrepreneurial spirit. 2018 Recipient
  • Lady Bizness (Greensboro) – Lady Bizness celebrated its seventh year in 2017 with CEO Chisa D. Pennix-Brown MBA at the helm as NC’s #1 Small Business Facilitator within the Small Business Center Network. Chisa has taught at 20+ Small Business Centers throughout NC and has a reach that keeps people coming back for workshops and seminars. Lady Bizness specializes in social media marketing, engagement, small business startup, maintenance and growth. NC IDEA ENGAGE Grant sponsored the Glow Get It! Women In Business event. 2018 Recipient
  • LaunchBio (Durham) – Larger Than Life Science, hosted by LaunchBio in the historic Chesterfield Building in downtown Durham, is a free-of-charge monthly networking event for life science entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, executives, industry partners and people who are curious to learn more. Each event offers multiple featured programs so participants can choose from a selection of practical workshops, industry partnering sessions, meetings with investors, panel discussions, office hours and some fun activities. 2018 Recipient
  • LaunchLKN (Lake Norman) – LaunchLKN is a collaborative community of entrepreneurs, mentors, educators and community leaders dedicated to sharing knowledge and motivating growth of the technology based startup scene in Lake Norman. 2018 Recipient
  • NC Broadband Matters- NC Hearts Gigabit (Wilson) – The mission of NC Hearts Gigabit is to attract, support and champion the universal availability of affordable, reliable, high-capacity internet to create thriving local communities, uniquely local small businesses and a workforce empowered to compete in the global knowledge economy. 2018 Recipient
  • Office of Innovation and Economic Development East Carolina University (Greenville) – East Carolina University’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development (OIED) will conduct a series of live workshops combined with online OIED classes for faculty, students and community entrepreneurs in Human-Centered Design Thinking (HCDT) culminating with a TEDxECU and a Technology Showcase event in early 2018. 2017 Recipient
  • Patricia Taborn Modeling Agency- Youth Entrepreneur Expo (Durham) – Patricia Taborn Modeling Agency, Inc. (PTMA) is an extracurricular program for youth ages 5 to 17 years old. The program is concentrating on the Raleigh- Durham area in North Carolina with major emphasis for low income areas that have a high illiteracy rate, poverty and social environmental challenges. PTMA has established an annual Young Entrepreneur Expo to showcase young entrepreneurs and inspire other young people to start thinking, visualizing and plan business ventures that will give youth something constructive and educational to do. 2018 Recipient
  • Piedmont Food and Ag Processing Center- We Power (Hillsborough) – WE Power is led and designed by women. The group welcomes all people interested in creating a more equitable environment where small food businesses thrive and everyone has the opportunity to succeed. WE Power works through collective problem solving and network development to identify resources that support all women in food businesses. The resources discovered are shared within the network. 2018 Recipient
  • Prospera (Charlotte) – Prospera is the leading not-for-profit economic development organization in the State of Florida with almost 30 years of specialization in providing free bilingual business development services to underserved Hispanic business owners. The organization’s mission is to strengthen the local economy through quality, free of cost bilingual and culturally sensitive services designed exclusively for small business owners, including business consulting, business seminars, business grants and access to capital. 2018 Recipient
  • Queen City Fintech (Charlotte) – 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 serves as a demonstration of the latest and greatest in fintech innovation. More than 200 prominent VC firms, fintech entrepreneurs and financial services executives will attend. The goal of the event is to curate conversations between startups, investors and venture capital firms to increase deal flow in North Carolina and the Southeast. 2018 Recipient
  • The Revenue Exchange (RTP) – The Revenue Exchange was founded by Vince Beese and Eric Boggs as a way to give back to the revenue generating community of sales and marketing leaders. Its mission is to provide a platform for collaboration to empower learning, sharing and networking with like-minded individuals in a social and fun environment. 2018 Recipient
  • RTP AgBio + AgTech Meetup (RTP) – AgBio + AgTech is a community network established to improve communication between the Life Sciences community with the Technology and Engineering communities to inspire innovation in Agriculture. Although the group is focused on North Carolina, the organization hopes to stimulate ideas and opportunities that reach beyond local borders. Anyone who is interested in creating the future in Agriculture: growers, research, engineering and tech employees, veterans, companies, investors, students, start-ups, makers and enthusiasts; is welcome. 2017 Recipient
  • StartCharlotte (Charlotte) – StartCharlotte’s mission is to connect the Charlotte-area startup community and to be the one-stop-shop for startup information. The organization creates stories that spotlight local entrepreneurs, resources that help them grow their businesses and events that help connect them with mentors, investors and other ecosystem partners. StartCharlotte events include monthly information sessions for new community members, quarterly topical events such as the Veteran Entrepreneur Showcase, and networking events such as its Founders & Funders Happy Hour. 2018 Recipient
  • Startup High Country- Scale Matters Cohort (Boone) – Startup High Country (SHC) aims to grow and develop the High Country economy by supporting regional entrepreneurs to start and build high-growth companies. This work creates high-tech and high-paying jobs, as well as investment opportunities for area investors. Based in Boone, SHC’s work reaches much of Watauga, Ashe, Avery, Wilkes and Caldwell Counties. 2018 Recipient
  • Startup Summit (RTP) – NC IDEA ENGAGE sponsored Startup Summit, the largest growth stage startup conference in all of North Carolina. This organization actively educates, inspires and connects thousands of growth stage founders and team members from all over the state. They nurture North Carolina’s startup ecosystems through events, media and partnerships with organizations like Startup Grind and Google for Entrepreneurs. 2018 Recipient
  • The Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub at UNC Pembroke (Pembroke) – The primary mission of the Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub, a part of the University of North Carolina, is to help startups succeed, create jobs and improve economic vitality primarily in Robeson County, and secondarily in the Sandhills NC region. NC IDEA ENGAGE supported the deployment of the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program throughout local schools, government offices and the local community college. 2019 Recipient
  • Trade Show Manager (Raleigh) – The Trade Show Manager (TSM) is a national consulting firm to the trade show industry that develops and implements custom innovation programs for major trade shows and conferences. TSM’s programs build engagement among attendees, exhibitors and sponsors for a more successful and profitable show experience. TSM frequently incorporates startups in its innovation programs and NC IDEA ENGAGE sponsored scholarships for North Carolina startups to attend the CES Startup Pavilion. 2019 Recipient
  • Training to Work in an Industry Niche (TWIN) (Charlotte) – TWINis a job training program initiative to support workforce development within local communities by cultivating a resource talent pool with hard skills to assist small businesses with growing their capacity. The ultimate goal of TWIN is to drive economic development and build local communities through the growth of small businesses that can be a support structure to larger corporations and/or government agencies. NC IDEA ENGAGE sponsored the Girls On Fire Challenge. 2018 Recipient
  • UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Wilmington) – NC IDEA ENGAGE supported a two-day workshop for entrepreneurs participating in the Fish 2.0 global competition, where Seafood Businesses and Investors Connect. Combined with UNCW’s education series, The Business of Seafood Aquaculture, for NC entrepreneurs, and the Chancellor’s Global Marine Science Summit in 2019, Fish 2.0 rounds out the state’s continuum of support for seafood producers, small businesses and regional innovators and entrepreneurs through 2019. 2018 Recipient
  • Venture Café (Winston-Salem) – Venture Cafe’s mission is to broaden, connect and support the innovation community through public spaces and programs to help anyone with an idea succeed. The organization’s vision is to connect individuals, communities and organizations into one tightly woven successful innovation ecosystem in the Piedmont Triad region. Since its inception in May 2017, Venture Cafe has hosted more than 2,800 unique individuals from all over the state. 2018 Recipient
  • Venture For America Match Day (Charlotte) – Venture for America is creating economic opportunity in American cities by mobilizing the next generation of entrepreneurs and equipping them with the skills and resources they need to create jobs. 2017 Recipient
  • Wake Tech Community College (Raleigh) – Wake Tech’s Entrepreneurship Initiatives (EI) deliberately integrates the college into the developing entrepreneurial culture and economy in Wake County and the Triangle, by identifying holes in the entrepreneurial fabric and developing programs and courses to plug those holes. NC IDEA ENGAGE supports additional classes for LaunchRALEIGH graduates. 2019 Recipient
  • WRAL Techwire on behalf of the City of Wilson and Gig East (Wilson) – In 2016 WRAL TechWire, the City of Wilson and Greenlight Broadband partnered on Gig East, a convening aimed at engaging the regional community in the possibilities that exist for those doing business in and living in Wilson, North Carolina’s first and only Gigabit City. Since that time, Gig East has evolved into a sustaining annual event held adjacent to the City’s annual Whirligig Festival and a monthly meet-up series that emphasizes the possibilities its broadband infrastructure and growth-minded culture provides entrepreneurs and enterprise business, those leveraging smart city technology and IoT, those engaged in agribusiness/agriprenuership, and innovators and disruptors. NC IDEA ENGAGE supported a video to highlight this event. 2018 Recipient