DURHAM – Economic development foundation NC IDEA has picked 25 startups ranging from the coast to the mountains as semifinalists for its latest round of seed grants worth $50,000.

The final 25 were selected from a record number of submissions, 185, and made up what NC IDEA labeled as “largest and most geographically diverse” applicants.

“[F}or the first time, more than half of the submissions (almost 60%) came from outside of the Triangle region, with one-third of North Carolina’s 100 counties represented,” the foundation said.

“The program also experienced a healthy increase in applications from areas of the state that have been traditionally underrepresented, receiving 33 submissions from companies operating in rural counties as defined by The NC Rural Center. The diversity amongst the 25 semi-finalists is reflective of the overall geographic span of submissions, representing 16 different counties as a collective group.”

The semifinalists:

  • 27 Software – Mooresville, NC
  • Arxchitect – Winston-Salem, NC
  • Athena’s Compass – Raleigh, NC
  • Avior Inc. – Cary, NC
  • botsplash – Charlotte, NC
  • BRIM Software – Durham, NC
  • Cardinal Workshop LLC – Burlington, NC
  • Curu – Charlotte, NC
  • Elite HRV – Asheville, NC
  • Freeman Capital – Charlotte, NC
  • Glean, LLC – Snow Hill, NC
  • Lumedica Vision – Durham, NC
  • Metalytics, LLC – Morrisville, NC
  • MicMag – King, NC
  • myBeeHyve – Hampstead, NC
  • Nutrient Recovery Solutions – Durham, NC
  • Plectics Medical Solutions – Greenville, NC
  • Repvue, Inc. – Chapel Hill, NC
  • SalesSync, LLC – Cary, NC
  • Sani Brands, Inc. – Wilmington, NC
  • StoolDuel Inc. – Wilmington, NC
  • Vishion – Charlotte, NC
  • VitalFlo Inc. – Raleigh, NC
  • Wickeze LLC – Holly Ridge, NC
  • Wild Cotton – Charlotte, NC

“Geographically representative participation is important to the Foundation,” said Thom Ruhe, CEO of NC IDEA. “We hosted a series of workshops from Asheville to Wilmington, with help from our great NC IDEA ecosystem partners, and these outcomes demonstrate our deliberate efforts to recruit potential candidates from every corner of the state. Selecting applicants with the greatest potential remains our biggest priority, and we accomplish that by broadening our reach.”

Next step in the process is for the semifinalists to submit a “full proposal” about their business.

The field will be cut to finalists who will make presentations to a review panel. Winners will be announced in May.