NC IDEA Newsletter – June 27, 2018

As a son of immigrants, the uniquely American holidays were revered growing up; namely, Thanksgiving and Independence Day. Thanksgiving was particularly sacrosanct for being a time to be thankful for the opportunity to pursue the American Dream, while also remembering that the founding of our nation was accomplished by immigrants. Relatedly, we would do well to remember that almost half of Fortune 500 companies were founded by American immigrants, or their children.

My other favored holiday (next week) has become so
based upon my own proclivity for equating entrepreneurship with independence. I have experienced and witnessed people
attaining financial independence through their entrepreneurial exploits. For the countless more that have supported entrepreneurs and their nascent ventures, they too have enjoyed economic stability through the jobs they helped create.

I realize that entrepreneurship isn’t the first patriotic impression
for most people. But I would suggest that starting and growing companies
strengthens and (economically) defends our nation. Coincidentally, many of the skills that have best served me as an entrepreneur were acquired compliments of Uncle Sam.
So, it is fitting that as we prepare to celebrate our independence and honor the many brave men and women that facilitated it, we announce today the second iteration of our NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM Grant Program.
We are inviting proposals from organizations within North Carolina that primarily help people start and grow high potential firms. We are particularly interested in proposals from organizations that serve under-resourced entrepreneurs who demonstrate an ambition to build seven figure companies and/or employ more than 50 people within 5-7 years.Of the many things we have learned over the last two years, one thing is clear; we have great untapped entrepreneurial capacity in North Carolina. So, if we wish to strengthen the state, we will have to help more people reach for the brass rings of success.

Entrepreneurially yours,
Thom Ruhe
President & CEO

NC IDEA SEED Micro-Grant Recipients

Congratulations to the 15 North Carolina startups selected as our newest
NC IDEA SEED Micro-Grant recipients!

Created to award project-based grants to young companies looking to validate and advance their idea, the NC IDEA SEED Micro-Grant Pilot Program provides grants in the amount of $1K-$10K, mentorship and assistance, along with access to a wide network of advisors, partners and investors. 

The 15 NC IDEA SEED Micro-Grant recipients include: 

4Evermore Ventures Durham, NC

4Evermore Ventures
produces female active
wear with the goal of improving the quality
of life, health and fitness.

Bear Fiber – Winston-Salem, NC

Bear Fiber strives to increase
the supply of renewable textile fibers through
innovative agricultural practices and technologies.

Community Expert SolutionsDurham, NC

Community Expert Solutions produces
software that matches
eligible people to patient-assistance
programs providing
HIV medications for
free or reduced costs.

CompanahFuquay-Varina, NC

Companah offers water cremation
services for pet owners across the
state, reducing the carbon footprint on
the ecosystem.

Devil’s Foot Beverage CompanyAsheville, NC

Devil’s Foot Beverage Company creates
ginger beer infused with
organic and natural fruits and spices,
which serves as a low-sugar,
non-alcoholic beverage to sip at
any occasion.

ecoTEKindustriesWilmington, NC

Using patent-pending technologies,
EcoTEKindustries aims to replace carbon fiber and fiberglass in prosthetic and orthotic
devices with natural materials.

MicMagKing, NC

MicMag produces customizable, easy-to-assemble, upholstered furniture designed and handmade in North Carolina and shipped to your home in days.

Neomega Nutritionals – Hillsborough, NC

Neomega Nutritionals produces infused
avocado oil made for high-heat culinary applications like sautéing, grilling and stir fry, without losing their flavor or nutritional benefits.

Preservation Dyehouse Winston-Salem, NC

Preservation Dyehouse uses natural
dye materials–including indigo, madder and weld–from
regional sources to ensure that products are
friendly to both the skin and the environment.

Resistor BrewsChapel Hill, NC

Resistor Brews makes kombucha brewed in unique flavors
to be distributed in grocery stores, coffee shops and restaurants.

Rite of PassageHendersonville, NC
Rite of Passage is a high-end
women’s wear collection made with
natural yarns and high-quality cloth.

Sani Fayetteville, NC

Sani is a collection of modern, Indian-inspired wear that represents a new generation of young Indian-American women looking for way to coalesce their Indian heritage with their Western experience.

Snatcher – Charlotte, NC 

Snatcher produces and sells a unique exercise and physical therapy device.

SnugwicksIron Station, NC

Snugwicks produces performance-based,
water-wicking pet gear to keep furniture dry
and pets comfortable after a bath.

Zaria’s MilkWinston-Salem, NC

Zaria’s Milk sells homemade lactation goods that
assist nursing mothers experiencing a decrease in
their milk supply.

Read the full NC IDEA SEED Micro-Grant Pilot Program press release here

NC IDEA Summer School Series

 Summer School is in session!

Every Wednesday this summer, NC IDEA is hosting a free hour-long course for the entrepreneurial community of North Carolina. Sessions are led by experts from across the ecosystem and consist of topics ranging from marketing and sales strategy to intellectual property protection.

Bring your lunch and your questions, and join us in the American Underground Classroom for an hour of enriching conversation.

Can’t attend the course in person? No worries. Each session will be livestreamed on Facebook and made available on our YouTube channel. Click here to catch up on the courses you’ve missed!

NC IDEA Summer School takes place every Wednesday at noon, from now until August 15. For more information, or to register, click here.

Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn for NC IDEA Summer School news and updates!

Other News & Events

July 9, 2018 

On July 9th at 6 p.m., the American Underground, in close partnership with Lincoln Financial Group, is hosting its second FinTech Feed. This FinTechFeed will feature Brian Brackeen, CEO of Kairos, a leading AI powered facial recognition technology company. Brian will be talking through how to use free AI tools and methods for customer discovery and activation. After the talk, there will be facilitated networking and food/drinks!

This event is for Fintech professionals and AI enthusiasts alike, but others interested in a phenomenal talk and networking opportunity are welcome as well! Interested individuals can RSVP here

Innovate Durham Applications
June 18 – July 23, 2018
Applications for 2018 Innovate Durham cohort are now open!

Innovate Durham is a 12-week partnership program that turns the City of Durham and Durham County into a lab to test your idea, product or service. Through the program, participants will get access to staff, data and facilities to assist with making Durham more efficient and encourage a culture of innovation in Durham.For more information, or to apply, click here.

For more industry news and events, visit