Local Tech Wire

DURHAM, N.C. – has made five grants to early stage startups in North Carolina totaling $190,000.

Four are based in the Triangle; the fifth is located in Charlotte.

A maximum of $50,000 was available for each grant. The recipients and amount received:

  • BioShape – $40,000
  • Coaching Mark – $35,000
  • Cooperative Entertainment – $35,000
  • Open Connect – $40,000
  • Patagonia Health – $40,000

The five firms with information supplied by NC IDEA, an economic development group.

BioShape Solutions – RTP

BioShape is developing medical devices that permit simple and effective local delivery of therapeutic agents around surgical implants. The company’s initial products are focused on delivering antibiotics for the prevention and treatment of orthopaedic implant infections. The combined treatment of these implant-associated infections costs the U.S. healthcare system nearly $2 billion annually. Learn more at

The Coaching Mark – Morrisville

The Coaching Mark (TCM) provides a Software-as-a-Service platform dedicated to Helping Youth Thrive through athletics. TCM works with scholastic athletic programs, offering holistic team management tools to the coaches and Athletic Directors, and provides athletes and their families a wide range of tools, content and exclusive offers to foster their athletic and life skill development. Learn more at

Cooperative Entertainment, Inc. 

Cooperative Entertainment is developing a technology, service and marketing platform based on the tracking and utilization of idle or spare CPU capacity during online computer and video game sessions. A free software API called JoosyCloud is being developed for developers and publishers to incorporate into their games that aggregates spare CPU capacity within these games and leases them to corporate, academic and government customers. Learn more at

Open Connect Corporation – Charlotte

Open Connect Corporation develops and markets ezFoodOrder, a web-based application that streamlines the nation’s $175 billion foodservice distribution industry. By allowing foodservice distributors to easily compete for restaurant business, ezFoodOrder reduces food costs for restaurant operators by 15% on average. Because restaurant profit margins are thin (5% on average) and food costs are substantial (roughly 33% of revenue), the result is a 50% to 80% boost in bottom-line profitability for restaurant customers. Learn more at

Patagonia Health – Cary

Patagonia Health’s easy to use Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software is designed specifically for small physician practices. The web-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) EMR provides 6X cost savings, 10X delivery and 20X support advantage compared with legacy client server EMR architecture. In addition to the convenience of anytime, anywhere web access, physician practices benefit from low monthly subscription pricing enabled by the SaaS business model. Patagonia Health is transforming healthcare IT by bringing efficiency to small physician practices while improving patient care. Learn more at

“We are excited about this group of recent recipients and look forward to seeing their progress over the coming months,” said David Rizzo, chief executive president of NC IDEA. “This was a competitive cycle with approximately 110 applicants and these five companies impressed our review committee. Continuing to fund young companies like these most recent winners is critical to North Carolina’s job growth and economic development.”

Get the latest news alerts: at Twitter.