Venture Asheville, a program that helps startup CEOs with mentoring services, is the latest recipient of a grant from NC IDEA.

The amount of the grant was not disclosed.

“Working with NC IDEA and others in the Ecosystem Partner Program, we will generate more companies that can effectively compete in any region of the state, or nation for that matter,” said Venture Asheville Director of Entrepreneurship Josh Dorfman.

  • VIDEO: Watch a video of Josh Dorfman’s recent pitch to angel investors in Asheville at

NC IDEA has now awarded more than $1.3 million in funding through 11 grants as part of its Ecosystem Partner Program.

“The grant to Venture Asheville will directly support the organization’s Elevate program.” NC IDEA announced Thursday.. “Elevate, modeled after MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service, enables startup entrepreneurs to simultaneously navigate the practical day-to-day challenges of building great companies and develop their skills as effective managers, leaders and CEOs through monthly team mentoring sessions and office hours with specialized mentors. Elevate program participants learn how to perfect their products and services; identify, enter and grow new markets; build business organizations; and seek funding from corporate executives at the likes of Microsoft, IBM and Verizon and successful startup executives at fast-growing companies such as Grammarly, Sprinklr and Bitglass.”

twenty-six startups have received support through the program from more than 50 mentors.

To date, Elevate has impacted 26 startups supported by over 55 mentors.

“We are committed to a statewide effort to strengthen the resources and services available to entrepreneurs,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “The Ecosystem Partner Program is showing early encouragement that a coordinated statewide effort will yield greater results; so we are pleased our mountain region is now well represented in this grant to Venture Asheville.”