News & Insights

NC IDEA Awards Total of $300,000 to Six North Carolina Startups; Hits Milestone of 200 SEED Grants

Spring 2023 Grant Recipients Selected from Diverse NC IDEA SEED Applicant Pool

DURHAM, NC – May 11, 2023 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, announced today that the organization has awarded a total of $300,000 in grants to six North Carolina startups. Since its inception in 2006, the NC IDEA SEED grant program has awarded over $9M in non-dilutive grants to 200 high-growth companies throughout the state, with these most recent awards representing the program’s 35th cycle.

“This cycle marks a big milestone with 200 SEED grants now awarded to innovative companies across the state,” said Thom Ruhe, CEO and President of NC IDEA. “The representation of under-served communities reflected in such a competitive cycle demonstrates the vibrancy and resiliency of entrepreneurship across North Carolina. Our efforts to level the playing field are paying off,” Ruhe concluded.

The following six Spring 2023 NC IDEA SEED grant recipients were chosen after a three-month competitive application and selection process that drew over 170 applications from across the state:

b.combs – Cary, NC
A mentoring platform specifically designed to take the administrative burden off of nonprofits and other organizations that serve youth.

Boreas Monitoring – Wrightsville Beach, NC
A B2B SaaS company with a patented system to remotely monitor liquid nitrogen tanks in the fertility industry and others managing critical assets.

Home for Life Design – Salisbury, NC
Provides an innovative home assessment solution for healthcare professionals and paraprofessionals, enabling clients to stay in their home and community safely and independently, for life.

Salus – Charlotte, NC
A digital underwriting platform that leverages lenders’ existing information on their borrowers to deliver a faster, cheaper, fairer lending decision.

Tromml – Durham, NC
The only profit optimization tool designed for the unique needs of automotive aftermarket e-commerce sellers.

Vetletics – Cary, NC
Dedicated to innovation and raising industry standards for animal health to enhance athletic recovery to maximize performance.

NC IDEA SEED offers early stage companies the critical funding they need to scale faster. The $50,000 grants are awarded to innovative startups with a proven concept, even if they are not yet profitable. The funds, along with mentorship and guidance, push companies forward and reduce the risk associated with these nascent firms.

NC IDEA is an independent private foundation committed to empowering North Carolinians to achieve their entrepreneurial potential. Through our powerful combination of competitive grants and programs, and a network of strategic partners, we help entrepreneurs when they need it most. NC IDEA’s resources are highly competitive, enabling the Foundation to support North Carolina’s most ambitious entrepreneurs. We believe entrepreneurs transform communities and view our work as a catalyst for positive change. Learn more at