Leadership Program Aims to Cultivate North Carolina’s Rising Entrepreneurial Leaders

DURHAM, NC — October 12, 2017 — NC IDEA, an independent private foundation committed to strengthening the North Carolina economy by supporting the high potential ventures of entrepreneurs in the State, announced today that it has selected ten participants for the first cohort of the organization’s new NC IDEA LEAD program.

NC IDEA LEAD provides personalized training for founders and executives of high-potential, high-growth companies. The program focuses on improving problem-solving and strategy development, increasing the participant’s ability to lead others toward company goals, building effective communication competencies and developing other skills that are essential for emerging North Carolina CxO’s anticipating significant near-term growth.

NC IDEA is currently partnered with NextGen Center in Durham, NC to provide the initial programming which consists of five, full-day modules over a three-month period with opportunity for subsequent training at the conclusion of the program.

“Leadership is a vital skill for anyone running and growing a business,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. In young companies on the verge of rapid growth, leaders must effectively define the company’s direction and motivate employees to work toward common goals. We are introducing NC IDEA LEAD to cultivate such leaders to grow North Carolina’s next generation of successful companies.”

The selected program participants for the first cohort of NC IDEA LEAD include:

  • David Barron – CEO, Nugget Comfort
  • Jamelle Eugene – CEO, Gryppers, Inc.
  • Helen Fuller – CEO & Co-Founder, EduLync
  • Shawn Gagne – Founder & CEO, Urban Offsets
  • Ryan Gessner – CEO, Founder – SonoVol, Inc.
  • Sarah Glova – President, Reify Media
  • Chris Lorkowski – CEO, BruVue
  • Braden Rawls – CEO, Vital Plan
  • Justin Rothwell – CEO & Co-Founder, ProAxion
  • Monica Wood – Co-Founder & CEO, Myxx, Inc.

Candidates for NC IDEA LEAD were nominated by NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM Partners, local investors and other friends of the Foundation. There is currently no outside solicitation for applications.

NC IDEA is an independent private foundation committed to supporting business innovation and economic advancement in North Carolina. Today, the organization fulfills this mission through multiple initiatives. NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM funds organizations across the state that execute creative programs to support entrepreneurs. Over the last decade, the NC IDEA SEED program has awarded over $5M to 118 high-growth companies across the state. Since 2011, nearly 150 companies have participated in NC IDEA LABS, formerly Groundwork Labs. NC IDEA SOAR, a program founded in 2012 to address the proven funding gap for female entrepreneurs, formally became a foundation program over a year ago. NC IDEA LEAD is the newest program of the organization. Learn more at www.ncidea.org.

About NextGen Center
NextGen Center is on a mission to create and sustain a community that fosters deep, challenging and transformational awareness of self for the next generation of leaders so that they are better prepared to navigate their lifelong personal and professional journeys, as well as the journeys of those whom they touch. Learn more at www.bethenextgen.com