The first in a series of grants and loans targeting emerging North Carolina companies that ultimately will total $1.2 million from the recently launched Innovation Fund North Carolina are now providing cash to seven firms across the state.

Five received grants worth $25,000 each.

Two others were awarded loans of $75,000.

The first Innovation Fund N.C. recipients were announced the same day as NC IDEA, an economic development group in Durham, named the winners of more than $200,000 in grants.

The Innovation Fund winners will be honored on Dec. 17 at a reception in Conover.

Reciving grants were:

  • 10 for Humanity in Clayton
  • AccuFlow Imaging in Raleigh
  • Advanced Hydrogen Power Technologies in Lenoir
  • VX Aerospace in Morganton
  • White Stagg in Charlotte

Receiving the loans were:

  • Creisoft in Charlotte
  • GO2 in Wilmington

“I congratulate the awardees on their successful completion of such a rigorous process,” said Dr. Tony Mifsud, executive director of the project. “It is exciting to see the companies and their
technologies being developed here in North Carolina. Companies such as these will help boost economic growth here in the state.”

The new fund is a demonstration project called Innovation Fund America, sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The project enables community colleges to provide earliest seed-stage capital to startups. Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory was chosen as one of only three community colleges from around the country to participate in the project.

Award recipients must agree to milestone driven plans and intensive mentoring programs. Awardees must have a business located in North Carolina and they must also maintain their business in the state for at least six years following receipt of the IFNC award.

IFNC is based on the the Lorain County Community College Foundation in northeast Ohio that started in 2007.

Applications for the new round will be accepted beginning Jan. 1.