News & Insights

NC IDEA Foundation Awards Total of $450,000 to Nine North Carolina Startups

Grant Recipients Selected from Diverse NC IDEA SEED Applicant Pool

 DURHAM, NC – May 12, 2022 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, announced today that the organization has awarded a total of $450,000 in grants to nine North Carolina startups. Since its inception in 2006, the NC IDEA SEED grant program has awarded nearly $8.5M in non-dilutive grants to 187 innovative companies across the state, with these most recent awards being the 33rd cycle of the program.

“This group of companies demonstrates that entrepreneurial potential isn’t limited to specific areas of the state or a select few,” said Thom Ruhe, CEO and President of NC IDEA. “From the mountains to the Coast, this cohort hails from large metros to Tier 1 and Tier 2 areas of the state; with each either being female-founded, Black-founded or Veteran-founded, and in some cases, combinations thereof. Yet another competitive cycle, and we are confident that these companies are well on the path to creating a lasting impact on the state’s economy,” Ruhe added.

The following nine Spring 2022 NC IDEA SEED grant recipients were chosen after a three-month competitive application and selection process that drew applications from across the state:

Botanical Bones – Asheville, NC
A superfood dog treat brand making small batch, 100% plant-based, nutrient-dense treats using ethically sourced, clean-label ingredients.

Cicil – Wilmington, NC
A material innovation-focused home goods brand that produces all natural, non-toxic home goods in a sustainable and scalable domestic supply chain.

CopyForward – Winston-Salem, NC
Helps creators and collectors earn royalties on future resales of assets they created or owned leveraging the concept of Artist Resale Royalty Rights.

Cybershield Security – Huntersville, NC
A SaaS platform allowing organizations to become compliant in a matter of minutes to hours versus days to weeks using automated workflows and continuous monitoring.

Essential Personnel – Wilmington, NC
A SaaS solution providing performance management and safety/wellness for public safety agencies (Fire, Law Enforcement, EMS and 911).

Green Solutions Group – Salisbury, NC
The first and only nontoxic tissue preservation and embalming solution used in the $52 billion medical education, funeral and laboratory markets providing better results and a safer alternative to formaldehyde.

Nurtured Nest – Holly Springs, NC
Manages every aspect of a hospital’s perinatal education, allowing them to focus their time and attention on medical care for patients, by providing expert-led, on-demand classes for today’s parents.

Well Seasoned Table – Candler, NC
Produces farm-grown seasonings, infused sea salts & sugars, and herbal beverages in small batches, delivering unique and delicious flavors.

WH Farms – Charlotte, NC
An industrial hemp cultivation manufacturing beauty and wellness products for individuals seeking opportunities in the CBD industry through white labeling services.

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.

About NC IDEA FOUNDATION
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 www.ncidea.org.