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Four Wilmington Startups Semi-finalists For NC IDEA SEED Grant

By Johanna Cano, posted Mar 25, 2019
Four Wilmington-based startups are among the 27 semi-finalists of the Spring 2019 NC IDEA SEED Grant, according to a Monday news release.

ecoTEKindustries, Product Air Lift Systems Inc., Renaissance Fiber and Swell Systems were chosen out of 151 applicants from all over the state.

“We are pleased by the diversification both demographically and geographically in this group of semi-finalists moving forward,” Thom Ruhe, president and CEO of NC IDEA, said in the release. “We had a difficult task in narrowing down the competitive field of applicants, but look forward to learning more about the group moving forward in the next phase of the process.”

The semi-finalists will submit a full proposal with more details on their companies by April 1.

ecoTEKindustries was founded by Kyle Trivisonno who created a prosthetic leg made out of hemp fibers. As a board-certified technician, Trivisonno wanted to find an alternative to carbon and fiberglass materials which are traditionally used in prosthetics.

Renaissance Fiber is another hemp-focused startup that contracts with farmers to help them grow hemp, sells bulk raw or processed hemp fiber and also does hemp fiber processing.

Swell Systems provides a business management application for entrepreneurs, agencies and small teams. The app offers time-management, organization, sales, team management and marketing tools, according to the company website.

NC IDEA is a private foundation that seeks to support entrepreneurs in the state.

Finalists will present before a panel and recipients of the $50,000 grants will be announced in mid-May.

The grants will help support business activities that advance target market goals and help reduce some of the risks early-stage companies face, according to the release.

Wilmington-based myBeeHyve, which offers a contact management system for marketers, was an NC IDEA SEED Grant recipient in 2018.
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