The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Led by Archive Soical, which also is graduating from the Triangle Startup Factory today, another promising group of emerging firms secures non-dilutive funding from NC IDEA to help kickstart growth.

The quintet will divide some $201,000 in funding from the economic development group, which is affiliated with the venture capital firm IDEA Fund Partners.

The five and amounts received:

  • ArchiveSocial, $41,000
  • DealCloud, $40,370
  • Gema Touch, $41,000
  • Impulsonic, $40,000
  • Motaavi, $39,000

This new round was “the most competitive grant cycle to date,” a spokesperson for NC IDEA said. The group has now provided $2.5 million in startup funding to 67 ventures since launching in 2006. NC IDEA traces its lineage to funding provided by MCNC for North Carolina economic development.

The new round also reflects the growing importance of accelerator/incubator programs, such as Startup factory, which is “graduating” a class of six firms, including ArchiveSocial, today. Groundwork Labs in Durham and Packard Place in Charlotte also were represented among the grant winners.

Information about the grant winners, as provided by NC IDEA:

  • ArchiveSocial – Durham, NC (Triangle Startup Factory Company)

ArchiveSocial is a social media archiving solution for business compliance and legal protection. ArchiveSocial automates record keeping from networks including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It is designed to address record keeping challenges for businesses in industries such as financial services, insurance, healthcare, government and education. ArchiveSocial enables any organization to sign up online and start archiving social media in a matter of minutes.

  • DealCloud – Charlotte, NC (Packard Place Company)

DealCloud provides a free, web-based platform where M&A professionals can manage and grow their network, execute sophisticated deal processes, and confidentially review and manage new investment opportunities. DealCloud combines the proprietary work flow, confidentiality and process management of an internal database (like with cloud-based networking and collaboration features (like LinkedIn) to bring efficiency and ease to the M&A and capital raising process. 

  • Gema Touch – Durham, NC (Groundwork Labs Company)

Gema Touch sells a patent-pending Near Field Communication (NFC) platform, enabling brands to create robust customer engagement interactions between mobile devices and physical surfaces. Gema Touch has taken existing RFID tag technology and created a completely new tool that transforms day-to-day items into easy to use and personalized digital input sources for mobile technologies. From a smart in-store display to interactive event tickets, any item can create unique experiences for users. 

  • Impulsonic – Durham, NC (Groundwork Labs Company)

Impulsonic develops audio content creation tools for sound designers in the film, television and video games industries. Impulsonic’s tools provide an intuitive, tablet-based multi-touch interface, enabling sound designers to effortlessly drive advanced physics-based audio content creation algorithms to create realistic sound effects. Impulsonic aims to revolutionize the audio content creation process with its superior tools for designers, allowing them to deliver amazing audio experiences.

  • Motaavi – Durham, NC (Groundwork Labs Company)

Motaavi is a stock market for startups – an integrated trading platform and exchange where anyone can invest in and trade shares of companies raising money through private offerings, including crowdfunding. Companies seeking seed stage funding can now access investments from any investor regardless of accreditation status. The unique market structure allows investors to not only invest but trade shares in a liquid environment. 

A record 184 companies from across 21 North Carolina counties applied for the grants. Winners were selected by a panel of veteran entrepreneurs and investors.Twenty-five firms were asked to make full business proposals. the five winners were selected from 11 finalists, which made in-person persentations.

“This most recent grant cycle was incredibly competitive, and we were extremely impressed with the quality of applicants,” said David Rizzo, NC IDEA’s chief executive officer. “As the applicant field became more narrow, our decisions became increasingly difficult. So many of the companies are deserving of the money, but in the end these five companies convinced us that our money would have the most impact funding their startups. We look forward to working alongside these five up-and-coming companies to become major contributors to the state’s business community.”