DURHAM – NC IDEA has awarded $400,000 in seed grants to eight startup companies headquartered across the state in what president and CEO Thom Ruhe described as one of the most competitive grant cycles in the history of the organization.

The number of grants also is the highest in the history of the program.

The eight companies are:

  • Active Defender (Carthage): a campus emergency tool that saves time and saves lives

  • BatteryXchange (Huntersville): a charging platform that connects people, businesses and communities to things that matter to each entity the most

  • Couplet Care (Durham): Couplet Care offers tools for improving patient safety, as well as clinical efficiency, while promoting positive mother and infant health outcomes

  • Darë Vegan Cheese (Asheville): Using the same traditional cheesemaking techniques, sans dairy, Darë Vegan Cheese creates an amazing, artisan, aged, alternative

  • PROTECT3D (Durham): PROTECT3D leverages 3D technology to give medical professionals the ability to provide fully custom protective devices

  • Smart Girls HQ (Charlotte): Smart Girls HQ creates engaging content and facilitates exciting experiences that enable elementary-aged girls to achieve STEM Career Literacy by age 12

  • Stemz (Winston-Salem): Stemz connects local flower farms to floral designers

  • Your Minute Mechanic (Winterville): Your Minute Mechanic provides convenient, low cost self-service auto diagnostics helping people navigate costly car repairs every day

Since its inception in 2006, the NC IDEA SEED grant program has awarded over $7.5M in non-dilutive grants to 169 companies in North Carolina. This is the 31st cycle of the program.