Durham, NC – February 15, 2010 – NC IDEA, an organization committed to supporting business innovation and economic advancement in North Carolina, proudly announced today that it has awarded $200,000 in grants to five North Carolina startups. Since its inception in 2006, NC IDEA’s grants program has awarded approximately $1.5M to forty-two companies across the state, with these most recent awards being the eighth cycle of the program but if you can’t qualify for these grants then take a look at this list of 32 business grants.

NC IDEA’s grant program is a catalyst for technological breakthroughs developed in North Carolina that have a significant potential to successfully transition into commercially viable high-growth enterprises. The grants, which are up to $50,000 per recipient, support business plan research and development, reduce risk of early failure and advance projects to the point of suitability for angel or venture capital investment. In addition to the funding, NC IDEA and its network of seasoned business and technology partners mentor and guide the grant recipients through the complex growth cycles that young companies encounter, while also connecting the startups with other investors, institutions and business leaders to maximize their prospects for commercial success.

“We are excited to have some positive funding news despite the overall economic downturn,” said David Rizzo, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “Continuing to fund these young companies is critical to North Carolina’s job growth and economic development. We look forward to working with our newest recipients and expect great results from these grants.”

The following five companies are NC IDEA’s most recent grant recipients for the Fall 2009 cycle:

Argyle is developing a SaaS platform that helps marketers tie their social media efforts to business outcomes. The Argyle Social platform provides cross-channel reporting, campaign aggregation, and boss-friendly dashboards that make it easy for marketers to quantify social media marketing ROI. Learn more at www.argylesocial.com.

CertiRx Corporation
, an AuthentiForm Technologies company, is developing a system product that reduces the growing global risk of injury and death from counterfeit medicines. Counterfeiters breach pharmaceutical supply chain security for lack of an authenticating link between each pharmaceutical unit dose (e.g., every individual tablet or capsule) and its provenance. CertiRx makes just such a link via a batch specific code, without changing product formulation between batches. CertiRx expects that its solution to the counterfeits medicines problem will create high value new pharmaceutical product and business opportunities. Learn more at www.authentiform.com.

Dyzen, Inc. provides a web-based solution to help improve the efficiency of scientific labs, offering a common interface platform for all aspects of the research process, including grant management, the generation of scientific data and lab organization. Dyzen moves beyond the spreadsheet-feel of typical lab software and presents a visually-based virtual laboratory.

EcoCurrent has developed an efficient and cost-effective gasification system that converts biomass feedstock to usable energy. The company’s initial focus is on farm-scale gasification of dried swine manure to generate electricity and carbon offset credits. Learn more at www.ecocurrent.com.

EntoGenetics has developed a method for transferring a spider’s silk production gene into the common silkworm, creating for the first time a commercially viable method of spider silk production. This fiber will provide soldiers with life-saving vests that are tougher, lighter and more comfortable to wear than current vests made of Kevlar and other similar fibers. It will also be used in promising medical, aerospace and composite applications.

The upcoming grant opportunity for North Carolina based companies opens on Monday, February 22, 2010. There are two pre-proposal deadlines for the Spring 2010 cycle; Friday, March 5th and Friday, March 19th. Due to the competitive nature of the screening process, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by the first deadline, giving them the benefit of an extended review period. All interested companies must submit an application prior to the final pre-proposal deadline of Friday, March 19, 2010 to be considered.