News & Insights

NC IDEA FOUNDATION Awards $220,000 to Twenty-Two North Carolina Startups

Most MICRO Grant Recipients Awarded in a Cycle; NC IDEA SEED Finalists Also Announced

 DURHAM, NC – October 25, 2021 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, announced today that the organization has awarded $220,000 to twenty-two North Carolina startups in its seventh NC IDEA MICRO grant cycle. Since the inaugural cycle in Spring 2018, NC IDEA MICRO has awarded nearly $1.2 million to 118 young companies across the state.

Through small, project-based grants, NC IDEA MICRO awards $10,000 in funding to young companies looking to validate and advance their idea. The program piloted in Spring 2018, was created as an expansion of the Foundation’s long-standing SEED grant program to provide funding to younger, promising startups not yet positioned for the Foundation’s traditional $50,000 grants.

“With such a strong group of applicants, this is the most grant recipients we have awarded in one cycle,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “This cycle drew a record number of applications, particularly from our rural communities. We are seeing a clear need from all parts of the state for funding and support to help these companies grow,” Ruhe added.

These twenty-two NC IDEA MICRO grant recipients were chosen after a three-month competitive application and selection process that drew a record number of applications from across the state:


In addition to announcing the NC IDEA MICRO grant recipients, the finalists for the 32nd cycle of the $50,000 NC IDEA SEED grant were recently chosen from the 26 semi-finalists that had been selected out of a record number of applications received in March. These finalists will present virtually before a review panel and approximately five to seven grant recipients will be announced on November 12th at this year’s Ecosystem Summit during an online celebration. Register to attend. The thirteen Fall 2021 NC IDEA SEED finalists are: Acta Solutions LLC (Chapel Hill), Aluminati Guitar Company (Asheville), Beam Dynamics LLC (Winston-Salem), CliniSpan Health (Charlotte), DayWatt LLC (Cornelius), Flux Hybrids (Troutman), Piedmont Pennies (Charlotte), Plantd Inc. (Durham), Resolvx (Morrisville), Sani (Fayetteville), SnapPicFix (Durham), Spring & Mulberry (Raleigh) and Without A Trace Foods (Raleigh).

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