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NC IDEA FOUNDATION Awards Total of $160,000 to Sixteen North Carolina Startups

Grant Recipients Selected from Diverse NC IDEA MICRO Applicant Pool; NC IDEA SEED Finalists Also Announced


DURHAM, NC – October 26, 2020 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, announced today that the organization has awarded $160,000 to sixteen North Carolina startups in its fifth NC IDEA MICRO grant cycle. Since the inaugural cycle in Spring 2018, NC IDEA MICRO has awarded nearly $770,000 to 77 young companies across the state.

Through small, project-based grants, NC IDEA MICRO awards funding up to $10,000 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.

“Spanning cleantech to consumer products to medical devices and software, this group is a great representation of the diverse economic potential of the state,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “For many of these young companies, it is their first external validation that they are pursuing something that can become a great company; and it is very rewarding for us to help them on that journey,” Ruhe concluded.

These sixteen NC IDEA MICRO grant recipients were chosen after a three-month competitive application and selection process that drew 161 applications from across the state:

  • AdaptBionic – Chapel Hill, NC
  • Antlia Energy – Charlotte, NC
  • Beam Dynamics LLC – Winston-Salem, NC
  • Clever Education Solutions – Raleigh, NC
  • CliniSpan Health – Charlotte, NC
  • Curate – Belmont, NC
  • DayWatt LLC – Cornelius, NC
  • KM Macias Inc – Fayetteville, NC
  • Lumen Design Group – Durham, NC
  • Plantd Climbing – Durham, NC
  • RIM HELMETS – Durham, NC
  • Sinobas Amplification, LLC – New Bern, NC
  • SnapPicFix – Durham, NC
  • Substantial Media, LLC – Knightdale, NC
  • Up On 3 – Matthews, NC
  • Wildweed Gardens, L.L.C. – Chapel Hill, NC


In addition to announcing the NC IDEA MICRO grant recipients, the finalists for the 30th cycle of the $50,000 NC IDEA SEED grant were recently chosen from the 23 semi-finalists that had been selected out of the 131 competitive applications received in August. These finalists will present virtually before a review panel and approximately five to seven grant recipients will be announced on Day 2 at our upcoming Ecosystem Summit being held virtually November 16-17, 2020. Eleven of the twelve Fall 2020 NC IDEA SEED finalists include: Ascend (Charlotte, NC); Davos Corporation (Durham, NC); Dendi (Raleigh, NC); Growga (Chapel Hill, NC); Point Motion (Winston-Salem, NC); Precision Health Reports, Inc (Raleigh, NC); Rownd (Durham, NC); Six Wing Studios (Raleigh, NC); Third Floor Technology (Cary, NC); Vizma Life Sciences (Durham, NC); and Wranglesoft (Durham, NC).



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 ncidea.org.