Six retailed-focused startups will participate in the “Startup Stampede” incubator program at the American Underground.

“The line-up of mentors and experts who will participate in the immersive experience include executives with past experience launching brands,” AU noted.

The six, which were chosen from more than 30 applicants, are:

  • Helium (Durham, NC): Helium develops professional-grade filmmaking and photography tools for smartphones that support the new era of visual content creation
  • Tom and Jenny’s Candy (Durham, NC): Tom & Jenny’s Candy makes the first sugar-free caramel that’s great for you, without sacrificing the delectable taste.
  • Sunscreenr (Chapel Hill, NC): Sunscreenr is a revolutionary device that gives anyone the superpower to see the invisible – to see their sunscreen coverage so everyone can do a better job protecting their skin while they enjoy their time outside.
  • Just for Kiix (Raleigh, NC): Created and manufactured in North Carolina, Just for KiiX are virtually invisible protectors for high heel shoes.
  • Feline Innovations (Falls Church, VA): Feline Innovations is a new pet products company and the inventors of the QuickSnap™ Replaceable Cat Scratcher – a patent-pending replaceable cat scratching device. It has been recognized as a top product for cat lovers, and will be available on Amazon, Wayfair, and several other retailers this Spring.
  • Runaway (Durham, NC): Runaway is pioneering a new wave of creative entrepreneurship in North Carolina through a combination of apparel, art exhibitions, concerts, documentary filmmaking and more. Founded in 2011 by visual artist Gabe Eng-Goetz, the brand is inspired by those who run from convention and pursue their passions in search of something greater than themselves.

The program runs March 1-April 30.

The program is being supported through a $100,000 grant from the NC IDEA Foundation’s Ecosystem Partner program.

“Startup Stampede ‘17 has already exposed investors and founders throughout the southeast to the thriving startup ecosystem in Durham, the Triangle and North Carolina,” said NC IDEA CEO Thom Ruhe. “The program’s two-month immersion program will bring exciting new products to market and, importantly, expand the portfolio of our region with this promising sector.”

The AU is seeking to help develop a “growing number of consumer product companies which, despite minimal infrastructure to support them, are achieving success.”

Learn more about the program at: