|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.
President and CEO
NC IDEA FOUNDATION