Editor’s note: On Tuesday, economic development group NC IDEA picked six recipients to share among $300,000 in its latest round of non-dilutive grants for startups. Here’s a profile of Brand Assurance as reported by ExitEvent.

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Brand Assurance is one of six startups to win ~$50K in grant funding from the nonprofit Durham-based NC IDEA Foundation. Since 2006, the foundation has awarded nearly $4.2 million to 104 startups around the state. The six companies were narrowed from nine finalists, 22 semifinalists and 130 total applications for the Fall 2015 cycle. 
Brand Assurance is a small Wilmington-based startup helping apartment communities improve their reputation with potential renters. 

Essentially, this software allows for the aggregation and presentation of renter or owner reviews, ratings, comments or concerns in an easy to view and polished manner. Additionally, tools for the evaluation of property managers and employees are available.

Founder Jim Kittridge (top left) launched an online reputation agency called ResponsiveReach in 2013, helping small and mid-sized clients improve their reputations online. But he took a break from that company to serve as vice president of marketing for the very successful launch of the beer and wine recommendation app called Next Glass. On LinkedIn, he calls the year at Next Glass his “MBA in startups.”

But it was enough experience to prompt him to quit his day job at the beginning of this year and devote $30,000 to building Brand Assurance.

In his own words, “As soon as I saw it work for businesses and they were willing to pay us money for it, I knew I was onto something that could be big.

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