Grant Recipients Selected from Diverse NC IDEA SEED Applicant Pool

DURHAM, NC – May 8, 2019 – 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 six North Carolina startups from a diverse NC IDEA SEED applicant pool. Since its inception in 2006, the NC IDEA SEED program has awarded over $6M in non-dilutive grants to 142 innovative companies across the state, with these most recent awards being the 27th cycle of the program.

“This cohort of grant companies illustrates the vibrancy of entrepreneurship across the state of North Carolina,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “Industries from textiles to technology-enabled services to food and beverage are represented in this eclectic group positioned to quickly grow, create jobs and positively impact the state’s economy,” added Ruhe.

The following six Spring 2019 NC IDEA SEED grant recipients were chosen after a four-month competitive application and selection process that drew 151 applications from across the state:

ChurchLEARN – Vilas, NC
ChurchLEARN helps churches and non-profit organizations recruit, equip and develop volunteers by allowing these organizations to create online courses for training volunteers and staff with the ability to track learner progress and segment people based on areas of service.

Devil’s Foot Beverage Company – Asheville, NC
Devil’s Foot Beverage Company uses organic roots and fruits to create locally brewed farm-to-can craft nonalcoholic beverages. With typically less than half the sugars of traditional ‘sodas’, Devil’s Foot styles are packed with flavor thanks to fresh, organic and local ingredients and small batch craft brewing processes.

FeedStation – Chapel Hill, NC
FeedStation is helping retailers engage and sell on multiple online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Walmart and more by providing a turnkey solution and experience that solves the headaches involved with keeping everything connected and running smoothly, while enabling clients to build and run their businesses the way they see fit.

GoKart Kids – Cary, NC
GoKart Kids is a rideshare transportation service for kids ages 6-17, providing parents with a safe, reliable and easy solution for their child’s transportation.

Renaissance Fiber – Wilmington, NC
Renaissance Fiber is focused on the production of high-quality fiber from industrial hemp using proprietary methods that are clean, inexpensive and scalable. Their material is suitable for a wide range of applications including textile, paper and composites.

Tin Lizzee – Sanford, NC
Tin Lizzee offers a new, digital alternative to expensive in-home services. Via their online portal and mobile app, experienced technicians guide customers via chat and live camera sharing through problem diagnoses and do-it-yourself repairs on home appliances saving customers time and money.

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