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NC IDEA FOUNDATION Awards Total of $350,000 to Seven North Carolina Startups

Grant Recipients Announced Live for First Time Ever at 2020 Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Summit

DURHAM, NC – November 17, 2020 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, announced today live at their 2nd Annual Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Summit that the organization has awarded $350,000 in seed grants to seven North Carolina startups. Since its inception in 2006, the NC IDEA SEED grant program has awarded over $7.2M in non-dilutive grants to 161 innovative companies across the state, with these most recent awards being the 30th cycle of the program.

“With this newest group of SEED grant recipients we mark several firsts and milestones,” said Thom Ruhe, CEO and President of NC IDEA. “Aside from being one of the most awards we have given out in one cycle, we have now crossed the $7 million funding mark, after thirty cycles into this signature program. Adding to the excitement, this cycle started and concluded virtually without in-person info sessions or pitches. So it is only fitting we make our first ever live announcement of grant recipients during today’s Ecosystem Summit. We are thrilled with the outcome and are confident that these companies are well on the path to creating a positive and lasting impact on the state’s economy,” Ruhe concluded.

The following are six of the seven Fall 2020 NC IDEA SEED grant recipients that were chosen after a three-month competitive application and selection process that drew 131 applications from across the state:

Ascend Goals – Charlotte, NC
Ascend is goal-based student engagement software that helps out-of-school-time youth programs track, evaluate and accelerate student progress.

Davos Corporation – Durham, NC
Davos Corporation is a lender match platform for business capital that guarantees each loan.

Dendi – Raleigh, NC
Dendi provides a modern, cloud-native laboratory information system (LIS) for clinical laboratories.

Six Wing Studios – Raleigh, NC
Six Wing Studios delivers gamified experiences that empower players with focus, resilience and emotional well-being.

Vizma Life Sciences – Durham, NC
Vizma Life Sciences develops next-generation molecular imaging and chemical analysis solutions.

Wrangle – Durham, NC
Wrangle is easy process automation for busy teams improving efficiency for on-boarding, sales quote approval and contract management.

NC IDEA SEED offers early stage companies the critical funding they need to scale faster. The $50,000 grants are awarded to innovative startups with a proven concept, even if they are not yet profitable. The funds, along with mentorship and guidance, push companies forward and reduce the risk associated with these nascent firms.

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