NC IDEA Foundation is now accepting donations to fund its entrepreneurship grant programs, according to an announcement Friday.
“Now more than ever, the need is greater and simply beyond our capacity to fill alone,” Thom Ruhe, NC IDEA CEO and president said in the release. “Entrepreneurs throughout North Carolina need assistance if together we are to protect the fragile but vital entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
This is the first time the foundation, which is private and aims to support entrepreneurs in the state, is accepting donations.
According to the release, the organization has solicited and vetted applications and distributed funds in the past 14 years, a process that is supported by a network of reviewers representing the state’s economic development organizations, universities, incubators and accelerators and investment community.
The foundation has been spending more to support entrepreneurs, according to the release.
“For years we have provided funding and assistance for people trying to build great companies that create jobs and strengthen our economy. Over the last three years, we have been spending nearly double what is required by the IRS to help more entrepreneurs and ecosystem partners,” Ruhe said.
The organization has supported many organizations in the Wilmington region, including myBeeHive
, which received a $25,000 grant through NC IDEA SEED in 2018; Renaissance Fiber
, an industrial hemp fabric producer, which received a $50,000 grant in 2019; and four women-owned
startups, Anahata Swimwear, myBeeHyve, Skilly-do and Vavaroom that were selected for the mentorship program NC IDEA SOAR in 2018.
All donations will be distributed through NC IDEA’s programs. Details about the fundraising effort can be found at ncidea.org/partners-in-purpose