NC IDEA Newsletter – January 11, 2018

A new year is underway, and if the first couple of weeks are any indication of what to expect in the months ahead, it is going to be an exciting and busy 2018! It is officially “Application Season” at NC IDEA and we certainly do not lack for opportunities for entrepreneurs to set their New Year’s resolutions in motion.

  • Are you (or do you know) a founder with a gap that needs to be filled, be that customer discovery, understanding the business model, finding product-market fit, needing a co-founder or helping to navigate decision-making? Consider joining NC IDEA LABS in March or April. Learn more.
  • Could $50K help your startup (or a startup you know) fund business activities that validate target markets, reduce risk associated with early stage companies and help get to the point of suitability for growth; be that through funding or revenue? NC IDEA SEED provides non-dilutive funding to scale faster. Learn more.
  • Are you (or do you know) a female-led scalable business looking to raise a seed round or Series A in 2018? NC IDEA SOAR provides dedicated mentorship and access to valuable resources providing the support needed to successfully achieve fundraising goals. Learn more.

Considering any of these opportunities? Make sure you carefully review the important dates and deadlines below.


 First Time Founder? Attend NC IDEA LABS Lunch and Learn 1/23

Raising money for a startup is really, really, really hard. Founders need to understand the funding landscape and create a viable fundraising plan. In this seminar, NC IDEA‘s John Austin will discuss sources of funds, valuations, when to talk to investors, what goes into a realistic fundraising plan and give tips on creating a realistic plan to raise money for your startup. Following the seminar, John will be available to answer questions about NC IDEA LABS. This is a great opportunity for those considering an application to NC IDEA LABS.  RSVP to join us on January 23rd from 12:00pm-1:30pm, seating is limited.

Submit your application by January 29th at 5:00pm EST to be considered for our March or April cohorts.


Important Dates and Deadlines

Grant Writing Info Sessions and Interactive Workshops:

Other Important Dates and Deadlines:

  • February 9th – February 23rdNC IDEA SEED Virtual Office Hours
  • February 12thNC IDEA SEED Grant Application Opens
  • February 26th at 5:00pm EST – NC IDEA SEED Application Deadline
  • March 16thNC IDEA SEED Notifications and Full Proposal Invitations Sent

Applications for NC IDEA SOAR are now live. Apply by 5:00pm EST on January 29th. The 2018 NC IDEA SOAR program will begin in April 2018 and end in April 2019.
Apply Now

Updates and important deadlines from our NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM Partners


Apply for the South’s Consumer Product Incubator
The Startup Stampede, the South’s consumer product incubator, has opened applications for its 2018 cohort. The free program helps emerging product companies build a dynamic digital storefront, ready to scale. The program runs from March 1-May 5 in Durham, North Carolina. Learn more and apply here.
Save-the-Date: March 1st
8-Minute Pitch >> $10K Award

A signature showcase event, running for over 15 years, Capital Connects provides education opportunities for investors and connections to entrepreneurs seeking capital for their company. Firms presenting at this signature event have raised over $9.5 million from local investors. Entrepreneurs “compete” for a $10K award package by presenting an 8-minute pitch to regional investors and community leaders – 2017 saw 10 semi-finalists present to over 75 investors in attendance. Applications due this coming Monday, January 15th. Apply here.

NC IDEA Company Featured on WRAL

Green, Gooey, and Delicious 
Sandbar Oyster Company, an NC IDEA SEED recipient, harvests the Atlantic Emerald, an oyster with a green tint that is harvested on an eco-friendly substrate on the coast of North Carolina. For years, the most critically acclaimed oysters on the East Coast were not wanted. The Green Gill oyster, native to eastern North Carolina, could not be found at a single restaurant in the state, but after years of struggle, a Durham restaurant is now offering them on the menu. They are now sold at Durham’s Shuckin’ Shack, and were recently featured on WRAL.  Read the full article here.

Events for Entrepreneurs


Larger Than Life Science, February 1st

Join entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, executives and industry partners for Larger Than Life Science on the first Thursday of every month in downtown Durham. Larger Than Life Science is a monthly event series open to everyone interested in building a strong support network for North Carolina’s life science and healthcare innovators.

Come for the people and programs. Stay for a beer. Leave with your next big breakthrough. Register today!


Apply Now for IdeaFest Business Pitch Competition 
IdeaFest is a Business Pitch Competition where 20 finalists will pitch their startup idea to a panel of judges and a live audience.  The top three competitors will be awarded $5,000 for first place, $3,000 for second place and $1,500 for third place. Audience members will also have the chance to vote on a favorite competitor to win the $500 Audience Choice Award. Winners of the competition will also be eligible to receive twenty-five hours of free business consulting from The Launch Place. Apply here by February 13th