Durham, NC – August 11, 2010 – NC IDEA, an organization committed to supporting business innovation and economic advancement in North Carolina, announced today it will be hosting a free web information session to discuss its grant process and eligibility criteria on Wednesday, August 18th. The session is being held two days after the official opening of the organization’s tenth grant cycle.

The session, which will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST, is aimed at giving potential applicants an overview of NC IDEA’s grant process and criteria. NC IDEA officials will highlight how to apply for a grant, what they look for in an application and what types of companies are eligible for funding. Interested parties can confirm their attendance by visiting www.ncidea.org and following the registration link on the homepage.

The upcoming grant opportunity for NC-based entrepreneurs and companies focused on information technology, medical devices or material sciences opens on Monday, August 16th. There are two pre-proposal deadlines for the Fall 2010 cycle: an early deadline on Friday, August 27th and a final deadline on Friday, September 10th. Due to the competitive nature of the screening process, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by the first deadline, giving them the benefit of an extended review period and the potential opportunity to be selected to move to the proposal round under early decision. All interested companies must submit an application prior to the final pre-proposal deadline of Friday, September 10th to be considered.

NC IDEA’s grants program is a catalyst for technological breakthroughs developed in North Carolina that have a significant potential to successfully transition into commercially viable high-growth enterprises. The grants, which are up to $50,000 per recipient, support business plan research and development, reduce risk of early failure and advance projects to the point of suitability for angel or venture capital investment. In addition to the funding, NC IDEA and its network of seasoned business and technology partners mentor and guide the grant recipients through the complex growth cycles that young companies encounter, while also connecting the startups with other investors, institutions and business leaders to maximize their prospects for commercial success.

To learn more and apply for an NC IDEA grant, visit www.ncidea.org. Prior to applying, interested parties must complete NC IDEA’s Eligibility Quiz and pre-register online within NC IDEA’s grants management system.

NC IDEA recently announced the organization’s latest grant recipients from its Spring 2010 cycle: BioShape Solutions, The Coaching Mark, Cooperative Entertainment, Open Connect Corporation and Patagonia Health. Since its inception in 2006, NC IDEA’s grants program has awarded approximately $1.7M to forty-seven companies across the state.