NC IDEA Newsletter – May 10, 2019
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This week’s SEED grant announcement, 6 companies each receiving $50,000 grants, was a milestone for NC IDEA. Specifically, it brought our total funding for that program to over $6,000,000 since its inception.

Again, congrats to ChurchLEARN (Vilas, NC), Devil’s Foot Beverage Company (Asheville, NC), FeedStation (Chapel Hill, NC), GoKart Kids (Cary, NC), Renaissance Fiber (Wilmington, NC) and Tin Lizzee (Sanford, NC).

In the grand scheme of a statewide economic development effort, $6M is a drop in the bucket. But for the 142 companies that have received this money, very early and when other traditional sources of capital won’t consider funding a young company, it is critical fuel for growth.

Our grant dollars are used for a variety of things, but generally for validating critical assumptions of the business. Frequently, we help the company confirm market product fit and the money is spent in marketing and sales. Sometimes funds are needed to iterate on early prototypes to better capture customer interest. On rare occasions, our resources (and support) have led the entrepreneur to the conclusion that they need to get back to the whiteboard and rethink their big picture – and even that is an acceptable outcome.

These six companies now join the ranks of NC IDEA alumni, along with the 15 recently announced MICRO grant winners. If they follow the paths of many of those that have gone before them, they will go on to build great companies. And they will be helped by more partners in the ecosystem that are waiting to assist them on their journey; which we greatly appreciate.

Entrepreneurially yours,

Thom Ruhe
President and CEO

BIG Congrats to ArchiveSocial!

Congratulations to CEO Anil Chawla and the team of Durham’s ArchiveSocial, an NC IDEA SEED Grant Recipient, on their recent investment! This is a testament to your great leadership and we look forward to seeing continued success for ArchiveSocial!

Applications Open Now Through May 20th

Applications for NC IDEA LABS are open now through May 20 at 5:00pm EST to participate in our third cohort of 2019 running July 8 through August 2.

An intensive four-week program, NC IDEA LABS helps entrepreneurs take their first steps to building a successful company. The program guides entrepreneurs through the process of identifying and targeting customers, then validating product/market fit. Entrepreneurs spend much of the time communicating directly with potential customers, gathering feedback and assessing demand.

Want to learn more and apply?

Apply Now

A Great Celebration of Entrepreneurship

Earlier this week, our President and CEO, Thom Ruhe, was the keynote speaker for Carolina Small Business Development Fund’s 7th Annual Awards Luncheon. The event celebrated the accomplishments of the hard-working Main Street entrepreneurs and the contributions that small businesses make to our local and state economy.

Since 2010, Carolina Small Business Development Fund has issued more than $58 million across the state resulting in 700 loans, creating more than 2,600 jobs across our great state.

NC IDEA Companies and Partners In the News

A Startup that Trains You to Fix Your Own Washing Machine? One of Six Awarded Cash

Bee Downtown’s CEO Turns Passion for Bees into Company Nearing $1M in Revenue

The Center for Creative Economy Featured on The Supportedly Podcast

SeaChange Technologies Selected as One of Six Finalists for EMA Future Innovator of the Year Competition

With App, MyBeeHyve Flies High

Triangle-based Sani Makes Indian Clothing With Western Spin

Upcoming Events & Opportunities

May 13
LaunchLab Growth Demo Day, Greensboro, NC
May 14
FFVC Presents Foreign Investment Under a Microscope, Durham, NC
May 15
1 Million Cups RTP, RTP, NC
May 17
LaunchLab 101 Application Deadline, Greensboro, NC
May 19
Fish 2.0 South Atlantic Track Application Deadline, Wilmington, NC
May 22
1 Million Cups RTP, RTP, NC
June 2
CCE Velocity Creative Accelerator Application Deadline, Winston-Salem, NC