Thanksgiving is a special time of year when many pause to reflect on blessings they have received. For the entrepreneurs we support, appreciation often comes from events that have propelled their companies forward like a key hire, funding event, or strategic new client that provides critical validation of their efforts.

This season we are giving thanks for the privilege of helping bright and ambitious people realize their entrepreneurial aspirations; strengthening the economy of North Carolina in the process.

Today we add to the joy of our work with the announcement of six new NC IDEA SEED grant recipients. These companies were selected from a field of 155 applicants and represent great potential for growth, employment, and additional economic impact. We are equally encouraged that among this cohort, we have great diversity in geography, gender, and ethnicity.

Whereas we don’t necessarily control for these factors, it is encouraging to see that competitive applications of high potential are not limited to specific communities or demographics. Our grant recipients are a great example of the diversity and potential that is the hallmark of our great state.

For these reasons, I am again thankful to have the opportunity to work with a great team of dedicated folks, led by a committed Board of Directors, doing this vital work. I am also thankful for the growing ranks of partner organizations and individuals that likewise share our passion to support entrepreneurs and the work they do to build a future worth living.

About the author: Thom Rhue is CEO of NC IDEA Foundation.