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Local Tech Wire

DURHAM, N.C. – Five startups in North Carolina will divide $200,000 grants from , the economic development organization said Monday.

The firms selected for the latest round of grants:

  • Argyle – $33,000
  • CertiRx – $40,000
  • Dyzen – $40,000
  • EcoCurrent – $45,000
  • EntoGenetics – $42,000

A startup could receive a maximum of $50,000.

, which is developing a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product designed to linked social media efforts to business outcomes and to measure return on investment. The Argyle Social platform is designed to deliver cross-channel reporting, campaign aggregation, and dashboards for data monitoring.

, which is pursing development of an authentication system designed to combat counterfeit medicines. CertiRx provides an authentication link to drugs by specific batches.

Dyzen, which is developing what it calls a “visually based virtual laboratory” for management of lab data. Its tool suite includes an interface platform for data, research, grant management and lab organization.

, which has developed technology to convert biomass feedstock to usable energy through a gasification system. The initial focus is on gasification of dried swine manure.

EntoGenetics, which has discovered technology for transferring the silk production gene of the spider to the silkworm, thus producing what the firm says is the first “commercially viable method of spider silk production.” Potential uses include protective vests for soldiers as well as use in medical, aerospace and composite materials.

“We are excited to have some positive funding news despite the overall economic downturn,” said David Rizzo, chief executive officer of NC IDEA. “Continuing to fund these young companies is critical to North Carolina’s job growth and economic development. We look forward to working with our newest recipients and expect great results from these grants.”

Since 2006, NC IDEA has awarded some $1.5 million in grants to 42 startups.

The grants are non-dilutive and are designed to help new companies bridge the gap between government funding and outside, private investors.

To be eligible, companies must be based in North Carolina and be focused on information technology, medical devices and diagnostics, material sciences or green technologies. Preference is given to startups that have not received equity funding.

NC IDEA partners also will provide other services to the startups.

IDEA Fund Partners is the for-profit venture financing operation of NC IDEA.

The next round of grant applications opens Feb. 22.