NC IDEA, an organization committed to supporting business innovation and economic advancement in North Carolina, announced last week that it has awarded over $201,000 in grants to five North Carolina startups in its largest and most competitive grant cycle to-date. Since its inception in 2006, NC IDEA’s grants program has awarded over $2.5M to 67 companies across the state, with these most recent awards being the thirteenth cycle of the program.
The five grant recipients were chosen after a 4-month application and selection process, which drew a record 184 applications from 21 counties across the state. A committee comprised of experienced venture investors, industry experts and seasoned entrepreneurs assisted NC IDEA with selecting 25 companies to submit full proposals which was further narrowed down to eleven finalists who were given the opportunity to pitch their idea in person, ultimately resulting in five winners.
“This most recent grant cycle was incredibly competitive, and we were extremely impressed with the quality of applicants,” said David Rizzo, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “As the applicant field became more narrow, our decisions became increasingly difficult. So many of the companies are deserving of the money, but in the end these five companies convinced us that our money would have the most impact funding their startups. We look forward to working alongside these five up-and-coming companies to become major contributors to the state’s business community.”
The following five companies are NC IDEA’s most recent grant recipients for the Spring 2012 cycle:
ArchiveSocial – Durham, NC (Triangle Startup Factory Company)
ArchiveSocial is a social media archiving solution for business compliance and legal protection. ArchiveSocial automates record keeping from networks including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It is designed to address record keeping challenges for businesses in industries such as financial services, insurance, healthcare, government and education. ArchiveSocial enables any organization to sign up online and start archiving social media in a matter of minutes. Learn more at www.archivesocial.com.
DealCloud – Charlotte, NC (Packard Place Company)
DealCloud provides a free, web-based platform where M&A professionals can manage and grow their network, execute sophisticated deal processes, and confidentially review and manage new investment opportunities. DealCloud combines the proprietary work flow, confidentiality and process management of an internal database (like salesforce.com) with cloud-based networking and collaboration features (like LinkedIn) to bring efficiency and ease to the M&A and capital raising process. Learn more at www.dealcloud.com.
Gema Touch – Durham, NC (Groundwork Labs Company)
Gema Touch sells a patent-pending Near Field Communication (NFC) platform, enabling brands to create robust customer engagement interactions between mobile devices and physical surfaces. Gema Touch has taken existing RFID tag technology and created a completely new tool that transforms day-to-day items into easy to use and personalized digital input sources for mobile technologies. From a smart in-store display to interactive event tickets, any item can create unique experiences for users. Learn more at www.gematouch.com.
Impulsonic – Durham, NC (Groundwork Labs Company)
Impulsonic develops audio content creation tools for sound designers in the film, television and video games industries. Impulsonic’s tools provide an intuitive, tablet-based multi-touch interface, enabling sound designers to effortlessly drive advanced physics-based audio content creation algorithms to create realistic sound effects. Impulsonic aims to revolutionize the audio content creation process with its superior tools for designers, allowing them to deliver amazing audio experiences. Learn more at www.impulsonic.com.
Motaavi – Durham, NC (Groundwork Labs Company)
Motaavi is a stock market for startups - an integrated trading platform and exchange where anyone can invest in and trade shares of companies raising money through private offerings, including crowdfunding. Companies seeking seed stage funding can now access investments from any investor regardless of accreditation status. The unique market structure allows investors to not only invest but trade shares in a liquid environment. Learn more at www.motaavi.com.
NC IDEA’s grants program is a catalyst for technological breakthroughs developed in North Carolina that have a significant potential to successfully transition into commercially viable high-growth enterprises. The grants, which are up to $50,000 per recipient, support business plan research and development, reduce risk of early failure and advance projects to the point of suitability for angel or venture capital investment. In addition to the funding, NC IDEA and its network of seasoned business and technology partners mentor and guide the grant recipients through the complex growth cycles that young companies encounter, while also connecting the startups with other investors, institutions and business leaders to maximize their prospects for commercial success.
The upcoming Fall 2012 grant opportunity for North Carolina based companies will open in mid-August. Learn more about NC IDEA’s grant application process, timeline and criteria at www.ncidea.org.