NC IDEA Newsletter – January 26, 2018

During one of the holiday parties I attended last month, I met several university student entrepreneurs dutifully working to turn an idea into a viable company. The ideas were varied, even if their demographics were not; that observation being a subject for another time.

During such encounters, I can’t help but ask if they are familiar with our NC IDEA SEED program; a grant that pays $50,000 and comes with access to additional programming from the Foundation and our partners.

To the great satisfaction of my fragile ego, all acknowledged the program with several of them expressing anticipation for the upcoming cycle, opening on February 12th. There was one amongst them however, that wanted me to expressly know he had NO interest, whatsoever, in applying for the grant. When I pressed him for his rationale, he stated “the effort of applying isn’t worth the low probability …” of winning a grant. He was also quite certain that based upon the genius of his idea, it was inevitable he would be showered with millions of dollars from local angels and national venture capitalists; also a subject for another time.

This confident young man asserted that a comprehensive application from him would likely take 3-5 hours and for “just $50,000” what would be the point?

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Deadlines for NC IDEA Programs Approaching 

  • NC IDEA LABS: Deadline for March start date is 1/29 at 5pm EST. 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. Learn more.
  • NC IDEA SOAR: Deadline 1/29 5pm EST. 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.


Bring Your Lunch and Learn with NC IDEA LABS on 2/13

Raising money for a startup is really, really, really hard. One step in that process is having a great pitch for potential investors. At the heart of a great pitch is a great story. NC IDEA‘s John Austin will share tips on how to tell a great story to investors.

In addition, this is a great opportunity to learn more about our NC IDEA LABS and NC IDEA SEED programs.

Join us Tuesday, February 13th 12:00pm-1:30pm at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham in the American Underground Classroom. RSVP here.

NC IDEA SEED Information Sessions Across North Carolina 

Grant Writing Info Sessions and Interactive Workshops:

Other Important Dates and Deadlines:

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

Exciting Updates from NC IDEA Companies 


Allstacks Goes to Techstars Austin
Allstacks, an NC IDEA LABS alumni and NC IDEA SEED grant recipient, is back in class at Techstars Austin for the next 13 weeks. Chosen from a pool of over 1,000 applicants, Allstacks joins nine other companies in Techstars Austin’s sixth accelerator class in their new downtown space. Continue reading.

TransLoc Acquired by Ford Mobility Group
Ford announced the acquisition of TransLoc, an NC IDEA SEED grant recipient and provider of demand-response technology for city-owned microtransit solutions. Acquiring TransLoc allows Ford to leverage its operational expertise, network of city relationships, and proven track record of providing solutions to cities globally that can improve the rider experience with dynamic routing. Read more.

Urban Offsets Facilitates Duke/Delta Partnership to Offset Carbon Emissions
Delta and Duke University purchased 5,000 carbon credits combined, which offsets carbon from all Duke University business travel on Delta in 2017,  while supporting urban forestry in the Raleigh-Durham area through funding the planting and care of 1,000 new trees. NC IDEA SEED, NC IDEA LABS, and NC IDEA LEAD company, Urban Offsets is facilitating this program. Read more. 

Cell Microsystems Receives $1.5M Grant for New Prototype 

NC IDEA SEED grant recipient, Cell Microsystems, announced that it has received $1.5M in grant funding from the National Institute of Health SBIR program. The grant “will allow the company to develop a prototype of the innovative Air-Flow instrument, consumable cell culture and imaging device as well as molecular methods for subsequent RNA-Seq,” according to a release.  Read more. 


Unravel Data Raises Series B Funding 
NC IDEA SEED grant recipient, Unravel Data, successfully raised $15M in Series B Funding to accelerate innovation in Application Performance Management (APM) to maximize value from Big Data investments. Read More.

Opportunities and Events for Entrepreneurs 


Join LaunchBio on February 1st for Larger Than Life Science: New Frontiers! 

Explore the trends and technologies that are shaping the future of biomedical research. Learn about the promising new field of genome editing. Get up to speed on FDA regulations. Meet the innovator behind BioLabs’ shared lab concept. Taste the foods of the future. And experience virtual reality first-hand.Larger Than Life Science is a free-of-charge monthly networking event for life science entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, executives, and industry partners. Each event offers multiple featured programs. Choose from a selection of practical workshops, industry partnering sessions, meetings with investors, panel discussions, office hours, and some fun activities. Register at


Invent Triad: A Forum on Invention Ecosystem for the Bio-Economy

 Invent Triad: A Forum on the Invention Ecosystem for the Bio-Economy. This full day event will begin with keynote speaker, John Hardin of the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The event will feature inventor and scholar Jesper Christiansen, Aalborg University, who was knighted by the queen of Denmark. Also, panelists from across the country will be sharing their Invention journey including several renowned AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassadors. Register Here.


PT Wired is Hiring a Full Stack Developer 

PT Wired is looking for a talented software developer who can lead their development and is interested in a position that could lead to Directorship or VP Leadership roles. Read the job description.