Semi-Finalists Seeking $50,000 Each in NC IDEA’s 31st SEED Grant Cycle


DURHAM, NC – March 29, 2021 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, announced today that the organization has selected 25 semi-finalists from across the state in its 31st SEED grant cycle. These semi-finalists were chosen from 174 competitive applications received by the organization.

“This cycle, we received a near-record number of grant applications, now the third time we have conducted our SEED process virtually,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “Again, we were faced with the difficult challenge of narrowing down a competitive field of demographically and geographically diverse applicants. We look forward to learning more about the group that is moving forward to the next phase,” Ruhe added.

The 25 Spring 2021 NC IDEA SEED Semi-Finalists include:


The semi-finalists have been invited to submit a full proposal with greater details by early April. Finalists will then be selected to present before a review panel comprised of experienced investors, industry experts and entrepreneurs. Grant recipients will be announced in early May. The $50,000 grants are intended to support business activities that validate target markets, reduce risk associated with early stage companies and help companies get to the point of suitability for growth; whether through investment or revenue.

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