RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — NC IDEA, an economic development and venture capital organization that was once part of MCNC, is looking to help jumpstart a second round of startup companies in North Carolina.

NC IDEA is accepting applications from companies for $150,000 in grants. The grants can be as large as $50,000.

Eligible companies are those in early stage development that are based in North Carolina and are focused on information technology, medical devices and material sciences.

The grants are for “proof of concept”. NC IDEA does not take a stake in ownership of companies that receive the money. The program is designed to help firms bridge the gap between startup financing and venture capital funding. The money will be awarded in December. Seven firms received $225,000 in grants earlier this summer.

NC IDEA is the acronym for North Carolina Innovative Development for Economic Advancement.

“NC IDEA is trying to bridge the gap we have seen between research and innovation and commercialization,” Lister Delgado, vice president of NC IDEA, recently told WRAL Local Tech Wire. “In this region, there are a tremendous number of ideas generated and there is a lack of capital. We wanted to do something.”

Grant winners also will receive mentoring and other assistance from NC IDEA. The organization works with the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, the North Carolina Technology Association, the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center and Southeast TechInventures to provide other services such as discounts or paid admission to conferences.

Deadline for application is Sept. 15. Applicants will be screened with a final field of 12 to 15 firms to be selected for further review.

Companies can apply online at:

For information about the first seven grant recipients, see: