NC IDEA FOUNDATION Awards Total of $300,000 to Seven North Carolina Startups

Grant Recipients Selected from Largest and Most Geographically Diverse NC IDEA SEED Applicant Pool in Foundation’s History

DURHAM, NC – May 3, 2018 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic advancement in North Carolina, announced today that the organization has awarded $300,000 in seed grants to seven North Carolina startups from its largest and most geographically diverse NC IDEA SEED applicant pool in the Foundation’s history. Since its inception in 2006, the NC IDEA SEED program has awarded over $5.5M in non-dilutive grants to 132 innovative companies across the state, with these most recent awards being the 25th cycle of the program.

The seven grant recipients were chosen from the 12 finalists that had been selected out of the record-breaking 185 submissions. This grant cycle translated to the most geographically diverse applicant pool since the program’s inception, and for the first time, more than half of the submissions came from outside of the Triangle region, with one-third of North Carolina’s 100 counties represented. Five of the seven grant recipients are from outside of the Triangle region, surpassing the overall geographic span of submissions.

“This newest cohort of NC IDEA SEED grant recipients is a great representation of the expansion of entrepreneurship across the state,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “These companies illustrate the vibrancy of entrepreneurial interests and are positioned to quickly grow, create jobs and positively impact the state’s economy,” added Ruhe.

The seven Spring 2018 NC IDEA SEED grant recipients are:

Cardinal Workshop LLC – Burlington, NC
Cardinal Workshop is a digitally-driven furniture brand focused on lasting quality and personal service. By merging a personalized online shopping experience with a digital fabrication process, Cardinal is making it easier to get quality, customized furniture with products designed to be easy to move and manufacture using sustainable materials.

Elite HRV – Asheville, NC
Elite HRV gives consumers rapid and personalized feedback on how well exercise, diet, sleep or stress management efforts are working. Hundreds of thousands of people now use Elite HRV to remove the guesswork in their health and fitness journey each day. Elite HRV is the tool of choice for doctors, coaches and high-performing individuals looking to get better and more sustainable results in health, fitness and stress management.

Freeman Capital – Charlotte, NC
Freeman Capital is an active wealth management firm that leverages a mix of artificial intelligence and knowledgeable human traders to break down barriers for the middle class and millennials ready to invest. As the only retail automated wealth management platform offering investments in currency and forex starting at $1,000, it actively manages investments different from cookie-cutter stocks, bonds and ETF portfolios.

Glean, LLC – Snow Hill, NC
Up to 40% of farmers’ crops are lost due to shape, size, or other imperfections, while many across the globe suffer from food allergies, hunger and malnutrition. Glean was founded with an innovative approach to reduce farm waste, while creating value added health foods such as vegetable flours and powders, purees and natural snack foods – all to address growing dietary problems across the globe.  Glean has made it their mission to “revive both people and produce for purpose” by gathering goodness from farmers and donating back pound for pound to help those in need.

myBeeHyve – Hampstead, NC
myBeeHyve offers a contact management system built specifically to address the mobile needs of the growing network marketing industry. Since its founding in March 2017, myBeeHyve has moved quickly to launch its innovative application and gain thousands of users from seven countries representing over 125 network marketing brands. With a solution for more than 20 million network marketers in the US and more than 103 million network marketers globally, myBeeHyve is perfectly positioned at the intersection of network marketing, social commerce and empowerment of women entrepreneurs.

SalesSync, LLC – Cary, NC
SalesSync’s phone performance management platform is an all-in-one solution for converting more new patient calls into in-office consultations. Utilizing call recordings and speech analytics, their technology categorizes 100% of a practice’s new patient calls to provide unparalleled visibility into what is happening on the phones, as well as tools for improving staff performance.

VitalFlo Inc. – Raleigh, NC
VitalFlo is redefining the standard of care for asthma management by providing actionable recommendations to patients when they need it most: before they have an asthma attack. The company’s lung health analytics platform, powered by its handheld medical device and digital health management app, enables asthmatic patients to track their lung health and asthma medications at home. VitalFlo’s vision is to build a future without asthma attacks.

NC IDEA SEED is a catalyst for breakthroughs developed in North Carolina that have a significant potential to successfully transition into commercially viable high-growth enterprises. The seed 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 fellows; in-kind services from attorneys, accountants and marketing consultants; public recognition and access to growth capital. This Spring 2018 cycle, five of the companies are receiving $50,000 seed grants; while two are receiving $25,000 seed grants.

NC IDEA is an independent private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic advancement in North Carolina. Today, the organization fulfills this mission through multiple grant and assistance programs. NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM funds organizations across the state that execute creative programs to support entrepreneurs. Similarly, NC IDEA ENGAGE is a community-focused grant program supporting individuals and organizations that facilitate entrepreneurship activity. Over the last decade, the NC IDEA SEED program has awarded over $5M in non-dilutive grants to 125 high-growth companies across the state. Since 2011, over 150 companies have participated in NC IDEA LABS, formerly Groundwork Labs, to guide founders developing an idea or product. NC IDEA SOAR, a program founded in 2012, supports female entrepreneurs leading scalable businesses in raising capital through mentorship, strategic advice and connections. NC IDEA LEAD, the Foundation’s newest program, provides leadership training for founders of high-growth companies. Learn more at

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