Foundation Continues to Advance Statewide Entrepreneurial Mindset Program

 DURHAM, NC – January 16, 2019 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to helping North Carolinians reach their full entrepreneurial potential, announced today that they are accepting applications for the second cohort of Ice House Facilitator Training in their statewide effort to offer entrepreneurial mindset education.

Created in partnership with the Kauffman Foundation, the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program (IHEP) is an experiential, problem-based program designed to inspire and engage learners in the fundamental aspects of an entrepreneurial mindset, while immersing them in entrepreneurial experiences that will enable them to develop creativity and critical thinking, effective problem solving, teamwork and other entrepreneurial skills – skills that will enable them to succeed regardless of their chosen path.

The program can be offered in a variety of ways to students in public and private high schools, community colleges and universities, clients of community development financial institutions (CDFIs), and those served by our statewide network of ecosystem and economic development partner organizations. The course is facilitated by instructors and faculty that complete a three-day training and certification program that does not require the instructor to be a subject matter expert in entrepreneurship, but rather a facilitator of the materials (print, online and video) to provide the expertise.

“Last month we trained a diverse group of 50 individuals from across the state at our first Ice House Facilitator Training,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “The community enthusiasm is encouraging and we already have enough interest to offer our second training this coming March. Several of our early partners are already planning their first sessions for their constituents and we look forward to collaborating with additional education partners who want to join us in empowering people with an entrepreneurial mindset,” Ruhe concluded.

NC IDEA is hosting the three-day Ice House Facilitator Training for education partners interested in offering the course to their constituents. Training will be held March 12-14 in Durham, NC. Education partners will likely be entrepreneurially-minded organizations drawn from educational institutions (particularly community colleges), entrepreneurial support organizations, economic development organizations, CDFIs or government entities. Organizations with demonstrable intent and capacity to offer the program to individuals broadly, will be given priority consideration. Because seating is limited, we will be admitting facilitators through an application process. NC IDEA will pay the training costs and participants will only have travel-related expenses. To learn more and apply to become an Ice House Partner, visit The deadline to apply is March 1st.

“Being part of NC IDEA’s inaugural Ice House Facilitator Training this past December was an inspirational and exciting 3-days,” said Geraud Staton, Executive Director of The Helius Foundation. “The Ice House curriculum is a perfect fit for our LAUNCHDurham program and we look forward to offering it to further assist necessity-driven entrepreneurs,” Staton concluded.

NC IDEA supported Ice House Entrepreneurship Programs will be launching throughout the state in the first quarter of 2019. Learn more about the powerful curriculum at

NC IDEA is an independent private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic advancement in North Carolina. Today, the organization fulfills this mission through a strategic combination of competitive grants and programs. NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM funds organizations across the state that execute creative programs to support entrepreneurs. Similarly, NC IDEA ENGAGE is a community-focused grant program supporting individuals and organizations that facilitate entrepreneurship activity. Over the last decade, the NC IDEA SEED program has awarded nearly $6 million in non-dilutive grants to 136 growth-oriented companies across the state, and most recently awarded nearly $150,000 in 15 micro-grants through NC IDEA MICRO. Since 2011, over 200 companies have participated in NC IDEA LABS to guide founders developing an idea or product. NC IDEA SOAR, a program founded in 2012, supports female entrepreneurs leading scalable businesses in raising capital through mentorship, strategic advice and connections. NC IDEA LEAD supports entrepreneurs further along by providing leadership training for founders of high-growth companies. Learn more at

About the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative
The Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative (ELI) is a global thought leader dedicated to expanding human potential through entrepreneurial mindset education. ELI serves academic institutions, government agencies, profit, and non-profit organizations around the world to empower their constituents with an entrepreneurial mindset through professional development training, facilitator certification and curriculum content. ELI is the creator of the Ice House Entrepreneurship Programs. Learn more at