DURHAM, NC – September 12, 2016 – NC IDEA Foundation, an organization committed to supporting entrepreneurial business innovation and economic advancement in North Carolina, announced today the selection of five promising female-led startups for the 2016-17 SoarTriangle mentorship program. The cohort was selected from 31 competitive applicants.

“We were very pleased with the number of applications received for our 2016-17 mentorship program,” said Reagan Reynolds, program manager at NC IDEA. “The resulting cohort is a diverse group of startups at different stages in varying markets including: consumer product, social venture, and scalable tech. We look forward to working closely with each team over the next year as they network and raise capital.”

The 2016-17 SoarTriangle cohort includes:

  • Bee Downtown – Leigh-Kathryn Bonner, CEO; Beehives and clear storefront observatory hives for businesses in cities to promote corporate environmental friendliness and sustainability.
  • Ello Raw – Rebecca Holmes, CEO; Organic, superfood dessert bites made with 100% raw ingredients.
  • InHerSight – Ursula Mead, CEO; A website that collects anonymous company reviews from working women and matches women with work environments based on individual search criteria.
  • Orora Global – Savitha Sridharan, CEO; A social enterprise providing solar energy solutions to rural markets internationally.
  • Vital Plan – Braden Rawls, CEO; A natural supplement wellness company.

The SoarTriangle program addresses the proven funding gap facing female founders of scalable businesses by providing deep mentorship and strategic networking opportunities for select startups. The members of the 2016-17 cohort will follow highly individualized plans of mentorship to equip each startup for successful fundraising.
NC IDEA is a private foundation committed to supporting business innovation and economic advancement in North Carolina and serves as a catalyst for young, high-growth companies.Today, the organization fulfills this mission through four initiatives. The Ecosystem Partner Grant program funds organizations across the state that execute creative programs to support entrepreneurs. Over the last decade, the Seed Grant program has awarded over $4.5M to 109 high-growth companies. Since 2011, more than 100 companies have participated in the Groundwork Labs startup program. SoarTriangle, a program founded in 2012 to address the proven funding gap for female entrepreneurs, formally became a foundation program in August, 2016. Learn more at www.ncidea.org.