DURHAM – Young startups seeking investments through crowdfunding, listen up.

NC IDEA wants to give you a headstart.

In partnership with Localstake NC, the private foundation has promised to award $5,000 grants to select companies looking to raise capital on its partner’s crowdfunding platform.

In recent years, sites like Localstake NC have emerged for companies to raise investment capital from individual investors.

However, NC IDEA’s CEO and president Thom Ruhe argues North Carolina lags behind other states when it comes to taking advantage of this fundraising alternative.

This program is looking to address that.

“We are testing whether or not investment crowdfunding has demand amongst NC entrepreneurs,” Ruhe said in a statement.

“As NC IDEA expands its mission to more actively serve those that are underrepresented and underserved, this modest effort may demonstrate another viable option. We look forward to seeing what we learn from this experiment.”


Grant recipients will be supported by NC IDEA and work directly with Localstake NC to have an active fundraiser on their platform by May 2019.

Grant funds will be used to pay for platform fees ($2,000) with the remainder directed toward supporting marketing materials and other related expenses.

To gain more insight on the application process, interested applicants can attend an upcoming information session via webinar on Monday, December 17th at 1 p.m.

More details and a webinar registration link is available online here. The grant application will be open December 17th through January 28th.

NC IDEA is an independent private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic advancement in North Carolina. Over the last decade, the NC IDEA SEED program has awarded nearly $6 million in non-dilutive grants to 136 growth-oriented companies across the state, and most recently awarded nearly $150,000 in 15 micro-grants through NC IDEA MICRO.