By Joe Procopio
Last year, I wrote about the NC IDEA grant program for Startup America, noting it had surpassed $2 million in funds granted (not loaned or invested) in North Carolina startups. This is an awesome thing, and I was adamant about the fact that every startup in North Carolina should take full advantage of this program.
Turns out they listened to me and they’re doing exactly that. According to Dave Rizzo, NC IDEA President, the entrepreneurs are far more prepared for the application process than they’ve ever been, resulting in a massive number of applications, most with a much higher quality than they had ever seen.
Late last year, NC IDEA hooked up with Groundwork Labs to create something much closer to a true accelerator model.
A lot of companies have gone from zero to sixty thanks to NC IDEA – including the startup I work for, Automated Insights, as well as other names you know like Valencell, Oncoscope, Argyle Social, Spring Metrics, and BoostSuite.
Chances are you’ll soon know the names of this round of grant winners, if you don’t already. A lot of you are in the loop like that.
This is who they are and what they will build with the money and the connections received from NC IDEA.
Anil Chawla and ArchiveSocial just busted out of Triangle Startup Factory yesterday with a brilliant and well-received pitch for his social media archiving solution for business compliance and legal protection.
Anil says, “we are primarily investing in marketing efforts to take ArchiveSocial to market in full force. This means spending on online advertising, creating industry targeted content for our website, and investing in some other creative efforts to generate awareness for ArchiveSocial. Our overarching goal is to create as many customer interactions as possible to get our brand out there and build an initial customer base.”
Alex Zhang, Nick Bhargava, Kaiting Chen and Melanie Plageman are co-founders of Motaavi, an integrated trading platform and exchange where anyone can invest in and trade shares of companies raising money through private offerings, including crowdfunding.
Alex says, “We will be using the money to apply for full patents on our unique market structure and register as a broker-dealer.
Brent Fagg and Joanna Rogerson are the co-founders of Gema Touch, which sells a patent-pending Near Field Communication (NFC) platform, enabling brands to create robust customer engagement interactions between mobile devices and physical surfaces.
Brent says, “The money will be used to finalize initial RFID tag design, build beta software concept, complete pilot scale manufacturing, and perform field test of product in relevant environment.”
Impulsonic develops audio content creation tools for sound designers in the film, television and video games industries. It was founded out of the UNC Department of Computer Science by Anish Chandak, Lakulish Antani, and professors Dinesh Manocha and Ming C. Lin.
Anish says, “The grant from NC IDEA will mostly go towards developing our initial prototypes and products in audio content creation space and strengthening our IP portfolio.”
Charlotte’s 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., founded by Rob Cummings and Ed McMahan.
Rob says, “We are applying the grant funds in 3 areas. Marketing and business development, product development, and legal – we plan to file a patent on our industry matching algorithm.”
Joe Procopio (@jproco) heads up product engineering for automated content startup Automated Insights, which is also StatSheet. He founded and runs startup network ExitEvent, consulting marketplace Intrepid Company, and writers network Intrepid Media. You can read him at http://joeprocopio.com.