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Wilmington Startup, Entrepreneur Semifinalists For NC IDEA SEED Grant

By Johanna Cano, posted Apr 2, 2020
Screenshot of Electronic Lab Logs website.
Wilmington software company Electronic Lab Logs and entrepreneur Airlie Wedemeyer are semifinalists for the 2020 Spring NC IDEA SEED Grant program, according to an announcement this week.

NC IDEA Foundation, a private foundation that seeks to support entrepreneurs in the state, announced Tuesday the 27 semifinalists from all over the state for the current cycle.

Electronic Lab Logs is a Wilmington startup that developed a cloud-based platform for laboratory maintenance that replaces the use of paper logs.

The software company’s platform notifies users of maintenance schedule and tracks tasks for laboratory equipment. Users can review and sign-off electronic checks and generate custom reports, among other items.

The finalists were chosen from 142 applicants.

“We had the difficult task in narrowing down a competitive field of demographically and geographically diverse applicants this cycle,” Thom Ruhe, president and CEO of NC IDEA said in a press release. “Now more than ever, the need to support these companies is important in building a brighter tomorrow for North Carolina.”

NC IDEA SEED’s $50,000 grants are intended to support business activities that validate target markets, reduce risk associated with early-stage companies and help companies get to the point of suitability for growth; whether through investment or revenue, stated the release.

Electronic Lab Logs began product development in 2017, Daniel Summers, CEO and founding partner, said in an email.

The company is also led Jeremy Sikorski, a co-founder.

“The company was birthed out of Jeremy Sikorski’s desire to eliminate paper logs for his own hospital,” Summers said. “He was a core lab manager at New Hanover Regional Medical Center at the time and he wanted a solution that could be used systemwide.”

If able to move on to the next round and become a grant recipient, the company will use it for expansion into other industries, he said.

“The grant money will be used to fund growth into adjacent markets. The problem we solve for the labs is a shared problem in other segments of the market, namely radiology, pharmacy, and cafeteria,” Summers said. “We’re building out product lines to address those segments with new product offerings for those markets.”

Wedemeyer is a tenant at the University of North Carolina Wilmington Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

She is in the prototype phase, ready for manufacture before the end of the year, for MyPeriodPal. 

MyPeriodPal are acupressure bands that relieve menstrual cramping.

"MyPeriodPal will help women by providing an alternative to those traditional remedies (pain pills and heating pads), giving them a safe and effective form of pain management that can be worn comfortably in class or at work, helping to narrow this gap of disadvantage," Wedemeyer said in an email.

Wedemeyer was previously a recipient of the NC IDEA MICRO grant in 2019.

"Winning an NC IDEA SEED grant would be a game-changer. It would provide the means necessary to build my brand, begin manufacturing, launch my website, and scale my marketing and sales strategy," she said. "It would also keep me associated with NC IDEA, which is a superstar team to work with."
 
The 27 semifinalists have been invited to submit a full proposal, and then finalists will be selected to make a presentation before a panel comprised of investors, industry experts and entrepreneurs, according to the release.

Grant recipients will be announced in May.

This is not the first grant news for Electronic Lab Logs this year. The company was selected as one of four finalists of the inaugural NC BIONEER Venture Challenge, which is aimed at enhancing life sciences and biotechnology business ventures in the region.
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