DURHAM – NC IDEA has awarded over $1.1 million in grants during the organization’s 2021 Ecosystem Summit, coinciding with this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Charlotte firms CliniSpan Health and Piedmont Pennies were among nine NC IDEA SEED grants recipients. Another 15 Regional Impact Grants were awarded to partners and companies across the state.

“We are empowering entrepreneurs to reach their full potential by funding them directly and working in partnership with others that support their efforts when they need it most,” said Thom Ruhe, CEO and president of NC IDEA. “These awards are yet another direct investment in the equitable startup ecosystems of North Carolina that so many people depend upon. It is a fitting way to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week.”

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.

Since its inception in 2006, the NC IDEA SEED grant program has awarded over $8M in non-dilutive grants to 178 innovative companies across the state, with these most recent awards being the 32nd cycle of the program.

NC IDEA SEED grant recipients were chosen after a three-month competitive application and selection process.

The Regional Impact Grants under the umbrella of NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM, were made available to existing NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM and NC IDEA ENGAGE partners to serve as the lead grantee. The solicitation required at least two organizations to collaborate on a program supporting entrepreneurs building scalable businesses, focusing on a specific region of their choosing. This particular grant program intends to strengthen the infrastructure supporting North Carolina entrepreneurs via collaboration and the sharing of resources and networks. Several of the partnerships focused on elevating Black entrepreneurship were funded under the leadership of the North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council.

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