Earlier this month, NC IDEA Foundation announced the 25 Fall seed grant semifinalists, all of whom are still in the running for up to $50,000 in non-dilutive funding from the private foundation. 

While that’s great news for those companies (congrats, y’all!), that means 117 applicants of the 142 who applied are out of this cycle’s process entirely. 
Ouch, that’s a competitive pool. 
We have something for that, direct from the person handing out the cash. We sat down with Thom Ruhe, NC IDEA’s president and CEO, to get his take on what elements make a successful (re)application. 
Here are the top 3 tips from our conversation: 
1. Know the competitive landscape. Yes, there is one for every applicant. 
2. Show the team is willing to learn from others.