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Wilmington's Petrics Inc. Receives Grant, Startup Assistance In Triad

By Jenny Callison, posted Jun 9, 2016
Correction: This version of the story clarifies that the seed money Petrics Inc. and other recipients received is an investment from the New Ventures Investment Club. Club investors receive a stake in the venture in return.

A Wilmington pet health startup is one of five recipients of investments from a new fund based in the Piedmont Triad, according to an announcement this week. Petrics Inc., the brainchild of Wilmington resident Edward Hall, was the only winner of the 2016 New Ventures Challenge not located in North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad area.
 
After a competitive process that drew 235 applicants, Petrics Inc. was among the five startups selected by the New Ventures 2016 LLC inception-stage investment fund, a news release stated. The young company will receive a $5,000 investment for now, with the potential of up to $50,000 total in seed capital in later phases.
 
The award includes more than money. This past Monday, all five award recipients entered the New Ventures Accelerator as participants in what the release described as a 12-week “intensive lean startup methodology engagement.” That program is followed by two months of “intensive mentoring,” according to the release.
 
“Along the way, each team will have the engagement opportunities with the New Ventures Investment Club members.  As they meet milestones they can receive additional investments from the New Ventures Investment Club.  Each team is eligible for up to $50,000 in total investment by the club,” the release stated, adding that the club receives an equity stake in each startup in return. 
 
Petrics, which uses technology to help pet owners – especially owners of multiple pets – keep track of their animals’ eating patterns and health care, was also one of four Wilmington-based early-stage ventures chosen as a Startup Showcase participant at the N.C. Technology Association’s annual State of Technology conference in early May. At that time, Hall said Petrics was in alpha testing and was raising its seed round of funding.
 
The New Ventures Challenge is affiliated with Flywheel Co-Work, which operates out of the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in Winston-Salem.
 
Flywheel, according to the Challenge website, “administers the Challenge on behalf of the New Ventures, provides workspace for selected challenge teams during the finalists briefing and final pitch weekend, runs the accelerator, and organizes the resources and mentors for development of teams’ concepts and commercialization plans.”
 
The biggest grant in the 2016 Challenge - $35,000 - went to Greensboro-based Catalant. Urban Offsets garnered $15,000, Scout IoT got $10,000 and Leading Role, like Petrics, won the runner-up grant amount of $5,000. Further awards to all these companies, with a cap of $50,000, will depend on their “milestone achievement . . . during and after the accelerator session,” the release stated.
 
The New Ventures Investment Club is a membership based investment organization of local entrepreneurs in the Triad Region of North Carolina, the release stated. All members are active investors who select the competition winners and make subsequent investments. The Challenge is made possible by NVIC’s first fund Flywheel New Ventures 2016, LLC, which involves 44 investors who committed a total of $355,000.
 
Those funds, according to the release, are invested in the New Ventures Challenge, in the Flywheel New Ventures Accelerator, and in selected startups.
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