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DURHAM – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, announced today that the organization has awarded nearly $200,000 to nineteen North Carolina startups in its sixth NC IDEA MICRO grant cycle. Since the inaugural cycle in Spring 2018, NC IDEA MICRO has awarded nearly $1 million to 96 young companies across the state.

Through small, project-based grants, NC IDEA MICRO awards $10,000 in funding to young companies looking to validate and advance their idea. The program piloted in Spring 2018, was created as an expansion of the Foundation’s long-standing SEED grant program to provide funding to younger, promising startups not yet positioned for the Foundation’s traditional $50,000 grants.

“With such a strong, diverse cohort, this is the most grant recipients we have awarded in one cycle,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “This directly speaks to the economic potential of the state and the competitive nature of young companies growing right here in our backyard. However, with many other deserving applicants, it is simply because of limitations in funding that we cannot fund more of these promising startups,” Ruhe added.

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These nineteen NC IDEA MICRO grant recipients were chosen after a three-month competitive application and selection process that drew 186 applications from across the state:

In addition to announcing the NC IDEA MICRO grant recipients, the finalists for the 31st cycle of the $50,000 NC IDEA SEED grant were recently chosen from the 25 semi-finalists that had been selected out of the 174 competitive applications received in March. These finalists will present virtually before a review panel and approximately five to seven grant recipients will be announced in mid-May. The thirteen Spring 2021 NC IDEA SEED finalists are: Active Defender (Carthage, NC); BatteryXchange (Huntersville, NC); Beam Dynamics LLC (Winston-Salem, NC); Couplet Care (Durham, NC); Dare Vegan Cheese (Asheville, NC); Lumen Design Group (Durham, NC); Maurer’s Minute Mechanic Inc. (Winterville, NC); OpiAID, LLC (Wilmington, NC); Protect3d (Durham, NC); Smart Girls HQ LLC (Charlotte, NC); Stemz (Winston-Salem, NC); Step42 LLC (Waxhaw, NC) and Vetletics Inc. (Morrisville, NC).