NC IDEA Foundation Expands Team

DURHAM, N.C. -- NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial business innovation and economic advancement in North Carolina, announced today that it has expanded its team with the addition of two new staff members. Lauren McCullough has joined the Foundation as Program Manager and Sarah Mixter has joined as Community and Office Coordinator bringing the total members of NC IDEA’s team to six.



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“We are pleased to welcome Lauren and Sarah to the team,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “Adding to the NC IDEA family will allow us to serve more entrepreneurs, as well as Entrepreneur Service Organizations across the state.”

Lauren McCullough is now the program lead for NC IDEA’s seed grant program and related activities. Prior to working at NC IDEA, McCullough was a member of ArchiveSocial, a Durham-based startup and a former NC IDEA seed grant recipient. Prior to relocating to the Triangle, McCullough worked as the Client Service Coordinator for the Ohio University Innovation Center, a technology business incubator located in Athens, Ohio. McCullough received her B.A. and Master’s in Public Administration from Ohio University where she also served as a Graduate Assistant for TechGROWTH Ohio, a program providing early stage funding and technical assistance to technology ventures in Southeast Ohio.

As the Community and Office Coordinator for NC IDEA, Sarah Mixter coordinates operations, logistics and events for NC IDEA Foundation programs, including Groundwork Labs and SoarTriangle. Prior to working at NC IDEA, Mixter was the Audience Services Manager at Carolina Performing Arts, an arts presenting organization at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mixter has over five years of experience in managing operations, logistics and events in the Triangle. She graduated from The University of North Carolina with a B.A. in Spanish and Latin American Studies.

The expansion of NC IDEA’s team coincides with the Foundation’s relocation on the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham. NC IDEA’s new address is 320 Blackwell Street, Suite 400, Durham, NC 27701 located on the top floor of the Power Plant building in the center of campus.

About NC IDEA
NC IDEA is a private foundation committed to supporting business innovation and economic advancement in North Carolina and serves as a catalyst for young, high-growth companies. Today, the organization fulfills this mission through four initiatives. The Ecosystem Partner Grant program funds organizations across the state that execute creative programs to support entrepreneurs. Over the last decade, the Seed Grant program has awarded over $4.5M to 109 high-growth companies across the state. Since 2011, more than 100 companies have participated in the Groundwork Labs startup program. SoarTriangle, a program founded in 2012 to address the proven funding gap for female entrepreneurs, formally became a foundation program in August 2016. Learn more at www.ncidea.org.

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