DURHAM, NC – December 13, 2016 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial business innovation and economic advancement in North Carolina, announced today that it is awarding $250,000 in grants to five North Carolina startups. Since its inception in 2006, NC IDEA’s seed grant program has awarded over $4.75 million to 114 companies across the state, with these most recent awards being the 22nd cycle of the program.

The following five grant recipients were chosen after a four-month application and selection process that drew 142 applications from across the state:

Allstacks – Raleigh, NC
Allstacks makes it easy for companies to onboard and offboard their employees in just a couple of clicks by managing all of their SaaS productivity apps. Learn more at www.allstacks.com.

Ampogee (formerly Catalant) – Greensboro, NC
Ampogee (formally known as Catalant) is a technology company committed to helping manufacturers improve their performance. By promoting autonomy, supporting mastery and connecting to purpose, Ampogee provides a performance management SaaS solution that actively engages team members and leaders in their individual success, as well as organizational success. Learn more at www.ampogee.com.

Decision Point Informatics – Winston-Salem, NC
Decision Point Informatics is a human informatics company that creates validated clinical decision pathways that integrate with Electronic Health Records. Their clinically validated pathways reduce healthcare spending while improving patient outcomes. The first product, HEART Pathway, has shown a yearly savings of over $3.5 million in unnecessary healthcare spending in one hospital system alone. Learn more at www.decisionpointinformatics.com.

Orchid Gene – Morrisville, NC
Orchid Gene is a high-tech floriculture startup that produces completely maintenance free miniature flowering plant terrariums. Through the company’s technology, a superior gel medium replaces soil to eliminate plant maintenance and manipulates flowering plant characteristics such as size, bloom longevity and rate of re-bloom. Learn more at www.orchidgene.com.

Planktos Instruments – Morehead City, NC
Planktos Instruments builds autonomous drifters for river science. The company’s innovative drifter design simplifies water monitoring and strengthens water quality assessment.

“This flight of grant recipients represents one of the strongest and most geographically diverse cohorts in the history of our organization,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “It may be premature to say we are seeing a trend in more competitive applications, but it is encouraging that our job is getting harder,” concluded Ruhe.

NC IDEA’s seed grant program is a catalyst for breakthroughs developed in North Carolina that have a significant potential to successfully transition into commercially viable high-growth enterprises. The $50,000 grants support a variety of activities for the growth of nascent firms. In addition to the funding, grant recipients will also benefit from mentoring by successful entrepreneurs and experienced investors; use of MBA interns; in-kind services from attorneys, accountants and marketing consultants; public recognition and access to growth capital.

NC IDEA is a private foundation committed to supporting business innovation and economic advancement in North Carolina. 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 $4.75M to 114 high-growth companies across the state. 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.