NC IDEA Newsletter – September 6, 2018

In a couple of weeks, we will be announcing our second cohort of NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM partners. A new group of organizations doing some innovative and creative things around the state will join our first cohort of 11 partners, making our collective group stronger and more impactful.

Over the past two years, our current partners have made many strides to help us in our mission to advance entrepreneurship throughout the state. Read more below about the impactful work from our friends at Triangle Venture Alliance.

Turning Competition Into Collaboration

It’s February 1992. Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill are playing what feels like a never-ending game packed with suspense and agony. There’s almost no time left on the clock, and the score is neck and neck. The audience watches in anticipation, praying their team brings home a win. Eric Montross plants his feet at the free throw line as blood trickles down his cheek. Bobby Hurley is lined up outside the paint, anxiously awaiting the opportunity to steer his fellow Blue Devils to victory on a broken foot. Tensions are high, but the stakes are even higher.

It is moments like this that embody the historic landscape of university rivalries in the state: UNC vs. Duke; NC State vs. UNC; NC Central vs. NC A&T. Tailgates separated by variant shades of blue and red, antagonizing fight songs and chants exchanged during games – even divided homes during football and basketball seasons – have become traditions predicated upon one thing: competition.

Embedded deep in the fabric of competition is the desire to be better – set apart from the rest. The thing that makes the Triangle Venture Alliance different from the rest isn’t competition, however. In fact, it’s collaboration.

Coming Together
For startups seeking to expand their presence in the market, investments from angel investors can be instrumental in the success and survival of a company. Angels can make investments independently or with other investors through syndications like the Triangle Venture Alliance (TVA).

TVA, a network of angel investor groups from Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State and NCCU, provides funding to startups in the region led by alumni, students, faculty and staff. Founded in 2016, TVA was established with the mission of reshaping the entrepreneurial landscape of the region.

 NC IDEA Application Deadlines Quickly Approaching


Currently, we are seeking applications for two of our most prominent programs, NC IDEA LABS and NC IDEA SEED, now through September 10th.

Are you (or do you know) a founder that could use help and guidance: 1) assessing customer demand; 2) understanding customer pain; and 3) optimizing strategies around customer discovery? If so, consider applying to NC IDEA LABS, an intensive four-week customer discovery program targeted at ambitious entrepreneurs with a unique idea in a large or growing market. Learn more.

Or ….. Could $50K help your startup (or a startup you know) fund business activities that validate target markets, reduce risk associated with early stage companies and help get to the point of suitability for growth; be that through funding or revenue? If so, consider applying to NC IDEA SEED. NC IDEA SEED provides grant funding to innovative startups, typically between proof of concept and profitability. Learn more.

Applications for both programs are due by 5:00pm EST
on Monday, September 10th.

Other News & Events


CED Tech Conference
Raleigh, NC
September 12-13, 2018

As the premier event for technology entrepreneurs in the Southeast, the CED Tech Conference attracts 800+ attendees including trailblazing entrepreneurs, investors, corporate leaders and industry visionaries from across the nation to the Raleigh Convention Center in NC, recently ranked the #1 Best State for Business (Forbes). Now in its 34th year, the two-day event showcases entrepreneurial companies and connects them with partners, investors and other organizations to accelerate business growth.

Learn more and register here.

Entrepalooza 2018
Raleigh, NC
September 13, 2018

NC State Entrepreneurship has lined up a diverse selection of exhibitors for its September 13th event to showcase their products and services, ranging from textiles to pet treats to transit. Also in the program is a “Minute to Pitch It” competition, which gives 15 students a time span of 60 seconds on stage to pitch their ideas to the audience. A $1,000 cash reward is on the table for the student who captures the audience’s attention best.

Learn more and register here

Black Wall Street Homecoming
Durham, NC
September 26-29, 2018

Black Wall Street Homecoming is an annual networking conference for early stage entrepreneurs, focused on the intersection of content, connections and culture. Celebrate and learn from diverse, multicultural entrepreneurs, their investors and the community that supports them. This year, the schedule is full with 3 days of content with 5 tracks of programming and an awesome lineup of speakers! To be sure there’s something for everyone, special sessions have been developed for professionals in creative industries, food & agriculture, real estate, social good and consumer products/retail.

Learn more and register here.

For more industry news and events, visit 

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