Triangle Startup Guide updates: Grants from NC IDEA, new VC

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – With regular updates to keep content fresh, WRAL TechWire’s Triangle Startup Guide offers a timely resource package for anyone looking to start or grow a business in the Triangle area.

Here’s some of the latest news:

NC IDEA opens fall 2022 cycle for MICRO and SEED grant programs with info sessions across NC

DURHAM – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, announced today that the organization will kick off its Fall 2022 Grants Cycle with information sessions throughout the state.

The sessions will highlight NC IDEA’s two upcoming grant opportunities supporting ambitious, growth-oriented companies:

  • NC IDEA MICRO awards small, project-based grants in the amount of $10K to young companies looking to validate and advance their idea.
  • NC IDEA SEED offers early stage companies the critical funding they need to scale faster. The $50K grants are awarded to innovative startups with a proven concept – even if they are not yet profitable.

NC IDEA opens fall 2022 cycle for MICRO and SEED grant programs with info sessions across NC

New RIoT accelerator program includes 4 companies, Town of Cary

RIoT is excited to announce RAP XII – the Summer  2022 cohort of the RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP)!  RAP XII will take place at RIoT Labs in Raleigh, NC.

The RAP XII cohort represents a variety of industries and backgrounds hailing across various North Carolina communities. The startups are working on technology solutions in healthcare, immersive language, live music streaming, and medical devices. Founders will leverage the diversity of the cohort to learn and grow together over the 12-week intensive program starting July 20th, 2022.  Learn more about the startups of RAP XII below.

New RIoT accelerator program includes 4 companies, Town of Cary

Triangle serial entrepreneur Robbie Allen joins Triangle Tweener Fund as general partner

RALEIGH – The Triangle Tweener Fund, founded by serial entrepreneur Scot Wingo, will add another Triangle-based serial entrepreneur as general partner.

Robbie Allen, who founded, grew, and then sold Automated Insights, has joined Wingo at the Triangle Tweener Fund.  Allen’s initial involvement in the Triangle Tweener Fund was as a founding investor in the firm.

In a statement shared with WRAL TechWire, Wingo noted that the addition of Allen will enable Wingo to “take the Tweener Fund to the next level.”

Triangle serial entrepreneur Robbie Allen joins Triangle Tweener Fund as general partner

Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Charlotte unveils its new board of directors

CHARLOTTE –  The Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Charlotte (EO Charlotte) has announced its new board members for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Led by incoming President Chris Mehalic, Owner of Truly Nolen, LLC/Acuity Investments, the new board includes 19 leading Charlotte entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Charlotte unveils its new board of directors


A new LGBTQ coworking community?

Harmony, North Carolina’s LGBT+ Allied Chamber of Commerce, will now have dual locations in Raleigh Founded and at American Underground.

According to a statement, the organization is moving toward an “ultimate vision: creating the nation’s first LGBT+ coworking community.”

Formerly RBPN, the organization is the official affiliate chapter of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).  The organization operates in the 50 eastern-most counties in North Carolina, and is now seeking a pathway to launch what a statement referred to as “an inclusive coworking community specifically designed for LGBT+ businesses and professionals.”

Black Founders Exchange seeks applicants

American Underground (AU) and Google for Startups are looking for roughly 10 startups to participate in its seventh annual Black Founders Exchange.

Established in 2016, the week-long immersion program targets high-growth startups in software, consumer product, Internet of Things, data, and other industries. It offers curated content, mentorship and community, taking companies from product and beta stage to pre-seed funding. Last year, 12 teams participated in the sixth edition of the Exchange.

Applications are currently being accepted until July 11.

What else is happening

Another recent update comes to the “Inspiration, Advice and More Resources” section of the guide, which features dozens of podcasts, blogs, video series and other content made by (and for) entrepreneurs local to the Triangle. It also includes resources from organizations and universities that provide free support for early-stage startups.

The newest addition to the list is a comprehensive business research guide from North Carolina State University Libraries. This resource is packed with market research and business planning sources. It’s divided into several subtopics, including finance and investing resources, data on industries and supply chains, markets and advertising, and GIS (geographic information system) information.

Startups of any size can use this resource for a range of purposes, from creating a well-informed business model and identifying funding opportunities to conducting market research and due diligence.

Find the guide on NC State Libraries’ website and scroll through the subtopics on the left-side panel.


Every week, we update the guide with new resources for local entrepreneurs for our exclusive Triangle Startup Guide. If we missed something, please feel free to suggest it for inclusion using this contact form.

In case you missed it, check out all the updates we made in 2021. And here’s a review of the additions from recent weeks:

  • In the “Inspiration, Advice and More Resources” section, we added the latest edition of “Triangle Tweeners,” an annual collection of the region’s most promising technology startups curated by local entrepreneur and investor Scot Wingo. The 2022 list, released earlier this month, includes 251 companies raising over $700 million in 2021 and documents 12 exits. To be selected, startups must have $1 million to $80 million in annual recurring revenue or 10 to 500 full-time employees. Triangle Tweeners launched seven years ago to track the local startup community as it grew to today’s heights. In December, the report expanded into a rolling fund that invests in local tech startups.
  • In the “Accelerators & Mentorship Programs” section of the guide, we updated our listing for RevTech Labs, a 14-week accelerator geared towards fintech and insurtech startups that have developed a minimum viable product or reached the post-revenue stage. Though the program is based in Charlotte, it follows a hybrid model with a mix of virtual sessions and in-person events. Charlotte Business Journal recently reported that RevTech Labs alumni have raised $2.5 billion. Now with 102 alumni startups and hundreds of mentors, the program recently started accepting applications for its 17th cohort this fall. The deadline is June 30.

Application Deadline: RevTech Labs Accelerator (Fall 2022)


  • In the “Inspiration, Advice and More Resources” section of the guide, we added the Hustle + Gather podcast (by Raleigh-based sister entrepreneurs Dana Kadwell and Courtney Hopper) and The Launch Place podcast (a new podcast to highlight various companies in the VC fund’s network). Plus, we added three reports profiling the local startup/tech ecosystem: Research Triangle Park’s 2021 Community Impact Report, Duke University’s 2021 “By the Numbers” report and NC TECH’s 2022 State of the Technology Industry report.
  • In the “Competitions, Grants & Other Funding Sources” section, we added Raleigh Founded’s annual Pitch Please event. It’s an opportunity for startup founders to present their products/services and get live feedback from local venture capitalists. The second annual Pitch Please was held on June 16.
  • In the “Accelerators and Mentorship Programs” section, we added the WheelsUP Accelerator—a new program from RTP-based First Flight Venture Center. In its first cohort, kicking off this August, the 12-week program will guide startups through scaling their biotech and health security products/services. In addition to education and mentorship, companies get cash prizes and the potential for follow-on funding from the program’s partner venture funds.


  • In the “COVID Relief Resources” section, we added the NC Department of Revenue’s recently re-opened Business Recovery Grant Program. Serving businesses with economic losses of at least 20%, the program consists of a hospitality grant for arts, entertainment and recreation businesses, as well as food-service and accommodation businesses. A reimbursement grant of up to $500,000 is also available for other businesses, even ones that have received COVID relief from other programs.
  • We added The Loading Dock’s new Wake Forest space to the guide’s interactive map of local coworking spaces and incubators. The space opened in December, marking The Loading Dock’s first expansion outside of Raleigh. Fitting for both individual entrepreneurs and startup teams, the space includes dedicated desks, oversized coworking tables, private offices, meeting rooms for up to 45 people and event space for over 200 attendees.
  • We added Dolphin Tank, a series of pitch events for women entrepreneurs, to the “Competitions, Grants & Other Funding Sources” section. The program is expanding to the Triangle, with an agtech-focused event on June 1 in RTP. According to the website, the event is part of a partnership with a handful of prominent organizations in the local startup ecosystem, including Pappas Capital, NC IDEA, Rex Health Ventures and Alexandria LaunchLabs.