Wilmington start-ups awarded NC IDEA grants
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Local businesses, MyKinfo and Survei, were among the sixteen winners of the NC IDEA MICRO grants recently awarded to young companies to advance their project ideas.
NC IDEA is a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina.
This is the fourth cycle of these project-based grants and the NC IDEA Foundation awarded $160,000 to sixteen North Carolina start-ups.
“Working with these young companies, we hope to support their entrepreneurial ambition, which will be desperately needed to rebuild our economy,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA.
Janine Iamunno, the founder of MyKinfo, said the inspiration for the website — which would allow users to “share life stories across generations” — was from her own grandparents. When they passed away, her family lost countless stories about their families.
“The NC IDEA grant is a huge step toward eventually bringing MyKinfo to market, and we couldn’t be more grateful to the foundation and to our mentor team, Diane Durance (Director for UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship), and Dr. Justine Reel (from UNCW’s College of Health and Human Services) for helping us find our way here,” said Iamunno.
MyKinfo is a startup independent of UNCW, but got its start within UNCW and is a current client of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Iamunno said she always felt her own grandparents with her as she worked through the process of getting the grant.
"In fact, we were notified on April 3 that we were semi-finalists for the grant – which was just a few days after my one remaining grandparent died as a result of the COVID-19 virus. So it’s hard not to imagine getting the good news just after her passing wasn’t a sign to keep pushing…so we did, and we will!” Iamunno said.
Another Wilmington company, Electronic Lab Logs, was also selected as a finalist for the $50,000 NC IDEA SEED grant.
After virtual presentations by the finalists, winners will be announced in early May.
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