By WRAL TechWire | Nov 20, 2017

Four Triangle startups are among six receiving the latest grants from the NC IDEA Foundation.

The firms will divide some $300,000 from the Seed grant program. The grants are non-dilutive.

The recipients:

  • Altis Biosystems – Chapel Hill, NC

Altis Biosystems is a biotech research tools company that has developed a stem cell technology called RepliGut, which recreates both the small or large human intestinal epithelium for drug testing and microbiome research. It is meant to replace Caco-2 cells and animal testing, for compound screening, during preclinical studies. Altis plans to manufacture and sell the RepliGut platform, in a variety of formats, to pharmaceutical companies and CROs. Learn more at

  • kēlaHealth – Durham, NC

KēlaHealth is a software-as-a-service company that enhances the surgical quality ecosystem in hospitals. The company uses machine learning to predict surgical complications before they occur, providing a platform for surgeons to evaluate which interventions are most impactful for each patient, and disseminate evidence-based interventions to all surgeons in a department or hospital. Learn more at

  • Loanable – Durham, NC

Loanable is a friends and family lending platform that helps borrowers pay less interest and enables their friends and family to earn that interest instead of the bank. Loanable guides borrowers through each step of the process, allowing users to set and negotiate their own terms, formalize those terms in a legal agreement and schedule auto-pay, a simple monthly payment that gives borrowers and lenders peace of mind. Learn more at

  • Neighborz – Winston-Salem, NC

Neighborz makes food selection and ordering from local restaurants fun by offering an aggregated menu of the best local restaurants with pictures of each dish, randomly organized. Users can swipe through the food offering of a community, disliking items and adding items to a personal wishlist. Learn more at

  • No Evil Foods – Weaverville, NC

No Evil Foods makes meat from nothin’ but plants, helping hungry mouths everywhere make the connection between food, kindness to self and others, and environmental impact. As leaders in the global gastronomic ecosystem, No Evil Foods creates Plant Meats that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with traditional proteins, while using methods that are sustainable, simple, kind and always compromise free. Learn more at

  • Note Ninja – Durham, NC

Noteninja is a b2b SaaS collaboration software used by large organizations to capture and utilize their sales conversations for the purposes of coaching, ongoing training and ramping new reps. Account executives, customer success teams and field reps record their conversations with Noteninja because it’s the easiest way to get better at talking to customers, communicate internally about customer needs and retain 100% accurate knowledge of all conversations. Learn more at

The six were selected through a competitive process. Some 155 firms applied for grants.

“This cohort of grant recipients is a great representation of the diverse economic potential of the state,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “We are encouraged to work alongside companies from the mountains and Piedmont regions to the Triangle that are poised to quickly grow, creating jobs and positively impacting the state’s economy.”

NC IDEA has now awarded more than $5 million to 126 startups through 24 rounds of awards since the program launched in 2006.

Funds are designed to help the startups evolve into commercially viable ventures.

NC IDEA also provides mentoring, use of MBA fellows, in-kind services from attorneys, accountants and marketing consultants.