NC IDEA Newsletter – January 31, 2018

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We are always delighted to see the progress of companies who have been involved in our grants and programs. Last week was no exception when legendary Triangle entrepreneur Scot Wingo (most recently of Spiffy fame) published the 2019 edition of his Tweener List – a list of Triangle-based companies with between $1M – $80M in revenue or between 10 – 500 employees. We know that collecting and maintaining data is hard – and this is important for the ecosystem to track, so our thanks go out to Scot for undertaking this endeavor.
Of particular interest to NC IDEA was the fact that 21 of the companies recognized were grant recipients and/or program graduates.Roll Call & Congratulations to: ArchiveSocial, Bee Downtown, Bright Wolf, Canopy, Corevist, EmployUS, Fokus Labs (Revibe Technologies), Fotoswipe, Freedom, Keona Health, LearnPlatform, MATI Energy, Patagonia Health, ProAxion, RevBoss, RewardStock, Roobrik, SpoonflowerValencell, Vital Plan and Written Word Media.Three other companies graduated from the list via acquisition; namely, Savii Care/Akili Software, Transloc and LABS participant iScribes, bringing the total number of ‘NC IDEA companies’ to 24.I mention this because it bears noting that our involvement with such companies is very, very early in their growth cycle; well before they are of any genuine interest to funding partners in the Triangle ecosystem.It is equally good to note that the entrepreneurial journey is a long one. Five of the companies recognized – Corevist, Patagonia Health, Spoonflower, Transloc and Valencell – won NC IDEA grants more than 10 years ago. Even others on the Tweener list – ArchiveSocial, Canopy, EmployUS, FokusLabs, Freedom, Keona Health, LearnPlatform, MATI Energy, RevBoss and Written Word Media – were grantees 4+ years ago. Clearly, overnight success more often than not, takes years to achieve.When one considers that over 300 companies, and not all from the Triangle, have been NC IDEA program graduates and/or grant recipients AND those firms represent a statistically significant percent of the Tweener list, that probably speaks well of the programs.And speaking of speaking well, we would be remiss if we did not recognize the founders and earliest decision makers in our long-standing grant program, Dave Rizzo (NC IDEA’s founder and CEO until he retired in 2015), and IDEA Fund Partners’ John Cambier and Lister Delgado. They were the ones picking these fledging companies of promise in the early days.

That being said, the question naturally turns to what’s next? As many know, NC IDEA is committed over the next two years to exploring how we can better help the under-resourced entrepreneurs around the state. We want to help communities outside the Triangle create the “Eastern NC Tweeners List”, the “Triad Tweeners” and the “Mountains Tweeners List”, etc.

As we have in the Triangle, our hope is that 10 years hence, we will have likewise played some role in building these other lists of great companies strengthening the North Carolina economy.

Entrepreneurially yours,

John Austin
Senior Director


Applications Open February 11th through March 4th

Whether you have just launched a startup or are looking to grow and scale your company, NC IDEA has resources that can help in the success of your journey when and where you need it most.

Through small, project-based grants, NC IDEA MICRO awards funding in the amount of $1K to $10K to young companies looking to validate and advance their idea. We have found that funding, paired with mentorship and guidance, early in a company’s lifecycle, can make a significant impact on future success.

NC IDEA SEED offers early stage companies the critical funding they need to scale faster. Our $50K 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 risk associated with growing startups.

Considering one of these grant opportunities
and want to learn more?
Attend our upcoming webinar!
Monday, February 4th at 2:00pm

Register to Attend

Ice House Facilitator Training

Join Our Second Cohort This March – Apply by March 1st

NC IDEA has an ambitious goal to educate 100,000 North Carolinians with an entrepreneurial mindset. Hear more from Thom Ruhe, NC IDEA President & CEO. We are seeking education partners who want to help us empower as many people as possible by offering the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program (IHEP). NC IDEA is hosting a three-day Ice House Facilitator Training for education partners interested in offering the course to their constituents.

Ice House Facilitator Training
March 12-14, 2019
Durham, NC

“Last month we trained a diverse group of 50 individuals from across the state at our first Ice House Facilitator Training,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “The community enthusiasm is encouraging and we already have enough interest to offer our second training this coming March. Several of our early partners are already planning their first sessions for their constituents and we look forward to collaborating with additional education partners who want to join us in empowering people with an entrepreneurial mindset,” Ruhe concluded.

Because seating is limited, we will be admitting facilitators through an application process. NC IDEA will pay the training costs and participants will only have travel-related expenses. The deadline to apply is March 1st.

Learn More and Apply

Upcoming Partner Events & Deadlines