NC IDEA has chosen 11 finalists for its latest round of grants worth as much as $50,000 “seed grants” as well as a variety of services designed to help grow new startups across North Carolina.

Five of the startups are from the Triangle.

The fact that more than half the group comes from outside the RTP area reflects NC IDEA’s efforts to expand the reach of its program as well as the growing geographic diversity of the state’s ecosystem.

The finalists:

• Catalant – Greensboro

• Decision Point Informatics – Winston-Salem

• Ecodyst – Cary

• Kepley BioSystems – Greensboro

• Orchid Gene – Morrisville

• Otterplan – Charlotte

• Planktos Instruments – Morehead City

• Ravioli Labs/AllStacks – Raleigh

• Twistek – Waynesville

• WhiteHatAI – Durham

• Zenworkforce – Wake Forest

Some 142 startups had applied for the grants in what is the 22nd such round. Recently the competition had been narrowed to 25 semifinalists.

“NC IDEA’s competitive finalist pool continues to reflect the expansion of entrepreneurship across the state,” said Thom Ruhe, CEO of NC IDEA. “We are seeing unprecedented levels of activity across geography and sectors, both of which are indicative of North Carolina’s growing innovation economy.”

The finalists will be judged by a panel of investors, industry experts and entrepreneurs. Winners will be announced in December.

NC IDEA has awarded over $4.5M to 109 startups across the state through the seed grant program.