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NC IDEA Foundation Announces Nearly $2.3 Million in Grants LIVE at 2022 Ecosystem Summit

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

Fifteen MICRO, Seven SEED, and Thirteen ECOSYSTEM Grants, Plus $600K to North Carolina’s HBCUs, Awarded and Announced

DURHAM, NC – November 15, 2022 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, announced today, at the conclusion of the 2022 Ecosystem Summit, that the organization has awarded seven NC IDEA SEED and thirteen NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM grants to companies and partners across the state. These 20 grants, plus the fifteen previously announced MICRO grants and the current North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council grant supporting North Carolina’s accredited HBCUs, brings the total of grants awarded in the final quarter of 2022 to nearly $2.3 million.

“Today we announced over $2 million in grants directly to companies and partners across the state strengthening the foundation supporting North Carolina entrepreneurs,” said Thom Ruhe, CEO and President of NC IDEA. “These awards are a direct investment in the equitable startup ecosystems of North Carolina and affirm our commitment to empower more people to pursue their entrepreneurial ambition. It is a fitting way to conclude our 2022 Ecosystem Summit,” Ruhe added.

Scheduled twice a year, the $50,000 NC IDEA SEED grants offer early stage companies the critical funding they need to scale faster. The funds, along with mentorship and guidance, push companies forward and reduce the risk associated with these nascent firms. Since its inception in 2006, the NC IDEA SEED grant program has awarded over $8.8 million in non-dilutive grants to 194 innovative companies across the state, with these most recent awards being the 34th cycle of the program.

The following seven Fall 2022 NC IDEA SEED grant recipients were chosen after a three-month competitive application and selection process that drew 158 applications from across the state:

The NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM grant program is designed to identify and support partner organizations across the state doing inspired things to help entrepreneurs. Working in partnership with others provides the opportunity to foster relationships and create dialog between partners, while allowing a better understanding of how we may collectively support more people in their ambition to start and grow companies that will strengthen the economy of North Carolina. To date, the NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM grant program has awarded 90 grants totaling over $6.3 million to strategic partners across the state.

The following thirteen NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM grant recipients were selected from a competitive application and selection process that drew 55 applications from across the state with a specific focus during the Fall 2022 cycle on supporting under-served entrepreneurs in the state:

During the live grant announcements, NC IDEA also recognized the fifteen previously announced Fall 2022 MICRO grant recipients and a new grant program launched by the North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council that will award $600,000 in grants targeted to North Carolina’s accredited Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The selected HBCU grant recipients will be announced in mid-December.

About NC IDEA FOUNDATION NC IDEA is an independent private foundation committed to empowering North Carolinians to achieve their entrepreneurial potential. Through our powerful combination of competitive grants and programs, and a network of strategic partners, we help entrepreneurs when they need it most. NC IDEA’s resources are highly competitive, enabling the foundation to support North Carolina’s most ambitious entrepreneurs. We believe entrepreneurs transform communities and view our work as a catalyst for positive change. Learn more at

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