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The mission of NC IDEA is to foster economic development in North Carolina by helping young startups commercialize their innovations.  We help companies overcome small business obstacles that can make the difference between growing the business and going out of business. NC IDEA is committed to supporting North Carolina’s economic development by helping young, innovative companies grow, create jobs and become major contributors to the state’s business community.

The grant 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.  NC IDEA recognizes that many new technologies are not successfully transferred out of universities and research institutions because of a funding gap between government and private equity support. NC IDEA implements its Grants program to help fill this funding gap.

NC IDEA will make semi-annual solicitations for ideas with the potential to become high-growth companies. NC IDEA defines a high growth company as a young company with a clearly differentiated innovation and a growth potential in a market of significant size.  NC IDEA awards selected projects an amount of up to $50,000.

Selected companies will be given small grants to fund business activities that validate potential markets, reduce business risks, and advance projects to the point at which they are suitable for private equity investment.

NC IDEA is located at the American Underground @ATC.  For more information, visit their website at or email