NC IDEA Newsletter – February 12, 2018

Seven startups have been busy at work since early January at NC IDEA LABS, our accelerator-like atmosphere in the heart of downtown Durham. Alongside a team of committed advisors, our mentor-driven program is focused on customer discovery and aims to help founders make better decisions, make those decisions faster and take the proper steps to avoid mistakes frequently made by new entrepreneurs.

Over the next several months, we will continue to work with this unique cohort of teams that range from consumer products to internet of things and more.

If you would like to be connected to one of these exciting up-and-coming companies, contact us at



The brainchild of former Carolina Railhawks player, Devon McKenney, AthloTech is the first of its kind to merge video games with a tangible athletic product that creates a fun and engaging platform to stimulate kids and get them moving.

Beard and Lady
Lacey Hendrix’s enjoyment for creating apothecary inspired elixirs grew into Beard and Lady, personal care and grooming products for men and women. With unique flavors and scents which enhance the chemistry of relationships, Beard and Lady uses only the highest quality packaging and all-natural ingredients to create intriguing and addictive scents that provide life to your skin and hair.

Bebop Review
John Petitte, left sunny Florida this winter to focus on Bebop Review, a dedicated workspace shared among all stakeholders that holds all feedback, as well as the history of that feedback.

MongoCare, led by Jennifer Coughlan, brings the sharing economy to the child care industry with a platform to enable scalable, home-based care.

Sous Studio
Looking to bring IoT to the kitchen, Kyle Horton created Smart Spice, the first intelligent spice rack that organizes and monitors spices so home cooks never run out of a spice when they need it.
Many people have difficulty learning a second or third language. Speaking 4 languages herself, Monique Poirier has developed a new hands-on tool for language training that makes the lessons so engaging, students will forget they’re reviewing vocabulary and/or learning grammar.
Tracy’s Gourmet
Tracy’s Gourmet®, the namesake of founder Tracy Scott, is a specialty foods company that produces gourmet foods free of dangerous chemical preservatives, corn syrup and cornstarch. Products come in the form of unique flavors that combine nutritious foods to aid in improved health and wellness of consumers.


Applications Now Open for Ventureprise Launch

Ventureprise, an NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM partner, will be launching their Spring Ventureprise Launch customer discovery program to early-stage, innovation-driven startups in Charlotte and western North Carolina. The curriculum takes early stage entrepreneurs through customer discovery and business model generation activities, assisting in the most critical phase of commercializing an innovation, the opportunity assessment. For more information visit or apply here.

Applications Due: 2/22/18
Program Launches: 2/28/18

First Flight Venture Center’s Hangar Six Opens in February 
First Flight Venture Center, an NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM partner, will open Hangar6 on February 20th. The new space will be a prototyping lab open to all North Carolina science-based businesses. First Flight Venture Center landed a $450,000 Federal grant to open the space. Read more.

RIoT director, Tom Snyder delivered a “State of the Region” address in which he discussed domestic and foreign affairs, progress, opportunities, threats and defense and offered a call to action. RIoT is an NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM partner. Read more.

Events for Entrepreneurs 


Webinar: Introduction to SBIR/STTR Funding for Innovative Technologies

Join the SBTDC on February 20th at 1PM for a detailed overview of the SBIR / STTR federal R&D funding mechanisms for small businesses.In this 45 minute webinar, John Ujvari, MBA, SBIR Program Specialist will discuss:

  • Funding levels and the phased process
  • Participating agencies
  • How to identify agency interests (solicitations)
  • Differences between SBIR/STTR
  • Important content to include in a proposal
  • Key points to increase competitiveness

Time will be available at the end of the session for Q&A

There is no fee, but registration is required. Register here.

Incredible Startup Founders & Investors Coming to Asheville

Calling on entrepreneurs scaling companies that do well and do good. If that’s you, check out the MO Summit – – launching in Asheville, March 22-23. Think of it as the “Inc 5000 for triple-bottom-line CEOs”. 150 founders & CEOs from the region and around the country who are scaling high-growth, positive-impact companies using the power and creativity of business will convene in Asheville.Also in attendance will be top venture capital and impact funds including BainSJF VenturesBuilders Fund, and others. Come be part of the emerging new economy.

Who is Attending?  

CEOs who are scaling high-growth, positive-impact companies using the power and creativity of business

Why Attend? 

  • Connect with other top CEOs who are leveraging business for scale and a better tomorrow
  • Meet leading mission-aligned investors
  • Gather real-world business-building advice and expand your company’s vision
Register here to receive a 20% discount.