Foundation to Award Small Grants to Companies Seeking Investment through Crowdfunding

DURHAM, NC – December 7, 2018 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic advancement in North Carolina, announced today that the organization is partnering with Localstake NC to test the appetite for investment crowdfunding in North Carolina. This Spring, the Foundation will award small grants to companies seeking investment through crowdfunding.

Platforms like Localstake NC have emerged over the last few years to help companies raise investment capital from individual investors. The recent passage of the NC PACES Act gives North Carolina companies another mechanism to raise capital from individuals in a compliant and organized manner. Conversely, these platforms allow all individuals regardless of accreditation to support local companies with their investment dollars. While this mechanism has helped thousands of companies across the country successfully raise capital, to date, few companies in North Carolina have taken advantage of this potential alternative to raising money. Through a competitive application process similar to other Foundation programs, NC IDEA will award $5,000 grants to selected companies wishing to expand their businesses via investment crowdfunding on Localstake NC this Spring. Grant recipients will be supported by NC IDEA and work directly with Localstake NC to have an active fundraiser on their platform by May 2019. Grant funds will be used to pay for platform fees ($2K) with the remainder directed toward supporting marketing materials and other related expenses.

“We are testing whether or not investment crowdfunding has demand amongst NC entrepreneurs,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “North Carolina lags other states when it comes to using investment crowdfunding as a vehicle for companies to raise funds. As NC IDEA expands its mission to more actively serve those that are underrepresented and underserved, this modest effort may demonstrate another viable option. We look forward to seeing what we learn from this experiment.”

Interested applicants can attend our upcoming information session via webinar at 1:00pm on Monday, December 17th to gain more insight on the characteristics of a competitive application and get answers to specific questions. More details and a webinar registration link is available online here. The grant application will be open December 17th through January 28th.

NC IDEA is an independent private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic advancement in North Carolina. Today, the organization fulfills this mission through a strategic combination of competitive grants and programs. NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM funds organizations across the state that execute creative programs to support entrepreneurs. Similarly, NC IDEA ENGAGE is a community-focused grant program supporting individuals and organizations that facilitate entrepreneurship activity. Over the last decade, the NC IDEA SEED program has awarded nearly $6 million in non-dilutive grants to 136 growth-oriented companies across the state, and most recently awarded nearly $150,000 in 15 micro-grants through NC IDEA MICRO. Since 2011, over 200 companies have participated in NC IDEA LABS to guide founders developing an idea or product. NC IDEA SOAR, a program founded in 2012, supports female entrepreneurs leading scalable businesses in raising capital through mentorship, strategic advice and connections. NC IDEA LEAD, the Foundation’s newest program, provides leadership training for founders of high-growth companies. Learn more at

Localstake NC is an extension of Localstake, a broker dealer operating exclusively online based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Localstake has facilitated over $9M in total funding over the last 4+ years for small businesses from both accredited and non-accredited investors. Localstake helps small businesses navigate the process of building and executing an investment offering using a variety of securities exemptions. Localstake’s mission is to bring professional financial advisory services to small businesses by utilizing technology and new regulatory frameworks. It seeks to provide businesses an alternative source of capital by allowing all individuals access to investment opportunities through a marketplace that organizes capital in a seamless and compliant fashion. Learn more at