NC IDEA Newsletter – February 14, 2019

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For years we have heard, seen, and felt the tension between our rural and urban communities. That tension has been amplified across political, social, and economic spectrums. You can read great data insights about the economic polarization of our communities in the 2018 release of the Economic Innovation Group’s Distressed Communities Index Report.

The report states “prosperous communities were overwhelmingly suburban in nature” and that whereas all communities felt the pain of the recession, “the recovery has widened the gaps between American communities,” as distressed communities have yet to economically recover; if they ever will.

Thankfully, in North Carolina, we are not content to write off 80% of our counties, home to over four million of our fellow citizens.

That esprit de corps was on full display at The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI)  ReCONNECT Rural and Urban Forum earlier this week. 500+ attendees from all corners of the state converged in Raleigh to share and learn from one another on how we can better connect and appreciate our diverse communities.

Speakers included a range of political (Governor Roy Cooper), chambers of commerce and related economic development organizations, community health systems, and philanthropic leaders. One of my favorite quotes came from the president of the Danville Regional Foundation who said: “Communities that are without hope, shall not prosper” – Karl Stauber.

If I had a ‘complaint’ it would be that there wasn’t enough discussion on the unifying capacity for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are leaders in their communities, usually crossing bridges or divides out of necessity. They quietly lead by example, creating the jobs and tax base that strengthen the social fabric of their communities.

That being said, I am looking forward to IEI’s next forum on October 15th in Charlotte, with a focus on job creation … a topic, I am told, well served by entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurially yours,

Thom Ruhe
President & CEO


Join Us Tomorrow (February 15th) to Learn More


Do you have a great idea or know someone that does? NC IDEA LABS helps entrepreneurs refine their business model and learn more about their customers.Learn more about NC IDEA LABS during tomorrow’s (Friday) 11am webinar: REGISTER HEREIf you already have plans at that time, we will post the recording on our website, so you can listen later at your convenience.

Applications for our next cohort of NC IDEA LABS (May 6 – 31) are opening this coming Monday, February 18th, but tomorrow’s webinar is a great opportunity to see if this program is a good fit for you.

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. Learn more about NC IDEA LABS here.

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 actively 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 the second cohort of 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

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


Apply Now 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 mostNC IDEA MICRO awards project-based grants up to $10K to young companies looking to validate and advance their idea. NC IDEA SEED offers $50K grants to early stage companies, often the critical funding they need to scale faster.

Applications are now open for NC IDEA MICRO and NC IDEA SEED through Monday, March 4th at 5pm.

Considering applying (or know someone that should)?
***Note: Applicants may only apply to either MICRO or SEED (not both) during a grant cycle.**

Learn More and Apply

NC IDEA Partners & Companies IN THE NEWS

• Raleigh-Based SalesSync Looking to Raise $800K in Offering •
• RIoT Executive Director’s State of the Region and Call to Action •
• Revibe Technologies Has One Focus: Keeping Everyone On Task •
• UNC Startups Poised to Shine at CED Life Science Conference (Altis Biosystems, Cell Microsystems, Redbud Labs) •
• Raleigh-Based Sports Technology Startup Gryppers Grabs Equity •
• Durham-Based Startup Cultivate Lands $350K in Equity •
• LoanWell Believes it Takes a Village to Make the Best Loans •
• ProAxion Brings Sensitivity to the Industrial World •
• BruVue Shows Triangle’s Emergence as IoT Hub •