News & Insights

NC IDEA FOUNDATION Selects 27 Semi-Finalists from Across the State in Spring 2020 SEED Grant Cycle

Semi-Finalists Seeking $50,000 Each in NC IDEA’s 29th SEED Grant Cycle

DURHAM, NC – March 30, 2020 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, announced today that the organization has selected 27 semi-finalists from across the state in its 29th SEED grant cycle. These semi-finalists were chosen from 142 competitive applications received by the organization.

“We had the difficult task in narrowing down a competitive field of demographically and geographically diverse applicants this cycle,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “Now more than ever, the need to support these companies is important in building a brighter tomorrow for North Carolina.”

The 27 Spring 2020 NC IDEA SEED Semi-Finalists include:

  • AC Analytix – Raleigh, NC
  • Airlie Wedemeyer – Newport, NC
  • Arpio – Cary, NC
  • Bundle – Charlotte, NC
  • Cargo Labs – Charlotte, NC
  • Electronic Lab Logs – Wilmington, NC
  • Ellie – Raleigh, NC
  • EnMass Energy – Durham, NC
  • Fillaree – Durham, NC
  • Haw River Mushrooms, LLC – Graham, NC
  • Home Lending Pal – Durham, NC
  • Keepsake – Raleigh, NC
  • Live Furnish Inc. – Winston-Salem, NC
  • Material Return, LLC – Valdese, NC
  • NALA Systems – Chapel Hill, NC
  • NanoVest Platform – Durham, NC
  • Natrx, Inc. – Raleigh, NC
  • Point Motion – Winston-Salem, NC
  • Ramona Optics, Inc. – Durham, NC
  • Ripe Inc. – Greenville, NC
  • Robocist – Raleigh, NC
  • Sani – Fayetteville, NC
  • ShyftAuto – Winterville, NC
  • Southern Elegance Candle Company – Raeford, NC
  • Unbox the Dress – Relocating to NC
  • Venga – Durham, NC
  • Wide Eyed Technologies – Winston-Salem, NC


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 mid-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.

This announcement follows NC IDEA’s recent announcement that for the first time in the history of the organization, NC IDEA will begin accepting donations to fund various grant programs that support early stage entrepreneurs of North Carolina. Details about the fundraising effort can be found at:

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


NC IDEA Foundation [EIN 01-0702442] has the Federal Tax-Exempt Status of a 501(c)3 Charitable Organization.  Financial information about this organization and a copy of its license [N.C. Solicitation License Number SL012652] are available from the N.C. State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 919-814-5400. The license is not an endorsement by the State.