Six more companies, including the related venture capital firms NC IDEA and IDEA Fund Partners, and Themis Media, which focuses on the video game industry, have leased space at the American Underground.

The Underground is space in the American Tobacco Historic District devoted to new and startup businesses.

NC IDEA focuses on startup firms in North Carolina, providing grants.

IDEA Fund partners is a commercial venture investment firm. Both were spun out of RTP-based MCNC several years ago.

Themis Media publishes The Escapist website.

Also joining the Underground are:

  • Smashing Boxes
  • Sustainable Industrial Solutions
  • Zetta Worldwide Tech

“Locating to the Underground and being amidst Durham’s emerging startup scene will allow us to be even more accessible and collaborative with entrepreneurs,” says David Rizzo, chief executive officer of NC IDEA, which provides early financing through grants. Rizzo also runs IDEA Fund Partners.

“The ‘natural’ and organic networking opportunities that will present themselves just by being right there at the center of activity will immediately prove invaluable,” he said in a statement.

The Underground is already home to several startups, the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, Joystick Labs and LaunchBox Digital.

Sustainable Industrial Solutions is focused on energy efficiency.

Smashing Boxes is a web development firm.

Zetta Worldwide helps companies meet accreditation requirements.

Announced last July, The Underground opened in October.

The American Tobacco complex is owned by Capitol Broadcasting, the parent firm of WRAL Tech Wire.

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