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NC Venture Capital Program

The American Rescue Plan Act 0f 2021 reauthorized and funded the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The new version of the SSBCI program provides a combined $10 billion to states, the District of Columbia, territories, and Tribal governments to empower small businesses to access capital needed to invest in job-creating opportunities as the country emerged from the pandemic. The funds will also support American entrepreneurship and democratizing access to startup capital across the country, particularly in underserved communities.

The U.S. Treasury Department, through the 2022 North Carolina state budget, allocated nearly $202 million in federal funding to the Rural Center to support small businesses throughout the state. This allotment of SSBCI funding will help small businesses through three programs: Loan Participation Program, Capital Access Program, and the NC Venture Capital Program.

The NC Venture Capital Program, branded as NCInvest, supports early-stage, high-growth small businesses in North Carolina, primarily through equity investments. In 2022, North Carolina dedicated approximately $30 million to this program.

The NC Venture Capital Program partners with venture capital funds, limited partnerships, and investors who are interested in supporting high-growth businesses in North Carolina. We are especially interested in investors with a proven track record and/or focus on supporting founders and business owners from groups traditionally underrepresented in entrepreneurship and business ownership. The program’s goal is to invest at least 54 percent of the funds in small businesses, founders, or fund managers who qualify under the guidelines for Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individuals (SEDI) as defined by the Department of Treasury.


NC Venture Capital Program Partners

On March 1, 2024, the NC Rural Center and SSBCI introduced the venture capital partners in the first cohort of our program. These 10 funds will invest more than $90 million in North Carolina startups in the coming years.

You can view a full list of the VC partners that are a part of this first cohort here, or see the list below.

100KM Ventures


Available for North Carolina startups: $3 million

100KM Ventures, based in Washington D.C., is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in diverse management teams building the next generation of great technology companies that are addressing the untapped customer segments in the Future of Work and Women’s Health.

Symphonic Capital

Symphonic Capital

Available for North Carolina startups: $3 million

Symphonic Capital is an early-stage fund that invests in companies closing access gaps in health and wealth launched by Sydney Thomas, who has spent almost a decade building and investing venture capital funds. She is joined by Shruti Shah, a YC alum and former co-founder. The collective power of this team makes it the most qualified first-time fund in the market today.

Resilient Ventures

Resilient Ventures

Available for North Carolina startups: $3 million

Resilient Ventures is an early-stage, committed capital fund supporting African American founders. We are joining the historic movement to disrupt systemic economic injustice by expanding access to capital, networks, and opportunities. Our mission is to close the wealth gap by expanding access to capital, networks, and opportunity to African American founders.

Wocstar Fund I


Available for North Carolina startups: $5 million

Founded by a Black woman with 30+ years on Wall Street and in technology, Wocstar Capital is a venture firm that is driving the creation of wealth in communities of color and amongst founders, investors, and allies by sharing the stories of, investing in, and championing/training women of color entrepreneurs and diverse tech teams. Wocstar actively invests meaningful capital into companies and technologies that are redefining how we will consume content and resources, transact commerce, and create a sustainable world. Support for the global startup community includes the Wocstar Academy, which delivers training and technical assistance related to “How to Raise Capital” and “How to Tell Your Story” and Wocstar Media, which empowers artists, entrepreneurial creatives, and creators to usher in a new era of storytelling, media, entertainment, film/tv, Broadway plays and gaming.

HBCU Founders Fund

Available for North Carolina startups: $7.5 million

Nex Cubed is a pre-seed venture accelerator on a mission to invest in and uplift underrepresented founders and underserved communities by providing early-stage capital, resources, community, and hands-on support based on the founder’s priorities. Nex Cubed’s HBCU Founders Fund seeks to foster and invest in startups where at least one founder is an HBCU student, graduate, or faculty member. Since 2017, Nex Cubed has invested in 90+ portfolio companies, accelerated 225+ startups, and developed a global ecosystem of 20+ corporate partners, 100+ investment partners, 80+ strategic advisors, and over 140 mentors.

Third Sphere

Third Sphere

Available for North Carolina startups: $7.5 million

Third Sphere invests in early-stage companies addressing climate and planetary challenges. Over the past 10 years, Third Sphere has invested in and supported over 100 pre-customer stage startups across the software and hardware spectrum and touching nearly all sectors of the economy. The firm is led by a diverse and experienced team of former operators, engineers, and investors who provide specialized founder support and access to capital via strategies across early-stage VC and private credit.

RevTechLabs Capital

Revtech Labs Capital

Available for North Carolina startups: $15 million

RevTech Labs is a majority female and Latina-owned entrepreneurship center and accelerator that will prioritize supporting and elevating traditionally underrepresented founders in financial, health, and insurance technologies. RevTech provides significant support as an accelerator, with 350 mentors and subject-matter experts, over 60 corporate partners, and over 400 venture firm partners available to support success. RevTechLabs Capital will invest in over 200 early-stage companies.

IDEA Fund Partners

Idea Fund Partners

Available for North Carolina startups: $15 million

Note: With SSBCI investment, IDEA Fund Partners will invest a minimum of $15 million in N.C. startups.

IDEA Fund Partners (IFP) is one of the most experienced early-stage venture capital firms in the Southeast. They invest in exceptional founders working on innovative startups that are aggressively disrupting markets. As a generalist technology-focused investor, IFP supports companies from pre-seed to series A, with a geographical focus from Baltimore to Atlanta with a particular interest in North Carolina. IFP targets 50 percent of its funding for companies with underrepresented founders.

Click here for more details.

LeVert Ventures

Available for North Carolina startups: $16,193,040

LeVert Ventures is an early-stage agricultural technology (AgTech) venture capital fund nourishing innovation for a more sustainable future. The intersection of systemic pressure and technology is playing a major role in redefining the future of agriculture and food. Driven by shifts in eating habits, dwindling natural resources, urbanization, and climate change, the food and agriculture industries face significant challenges that are creating substantial investment opportunities in meeting the sustenance needs of future generations. LeVert Ventures will invest in next-generation technologies that have the potential to transform the AgTech industry.

Latimer Ventures

Latimer Ventures

Available for North Carolina startups: $18 million

Latimer Ventures is a Baltimore-based early-stage venture capital fund helping enterprise founders build great companies and Fortune 1000 Companies make diverse acquisitions.


NC Venture Capital Program Details 

NCInvest, an initiative of the NC Rural Center, launched February 28, 2023, with an in-person and online event at Provident1898 in Durham. During that event, program organizers, leaders and the investment community discussed this opportunity for founders, small businesses, and investors. After this event, a request for proposals was released for interested venture capital firms to apply.

If you were not able to join us at the launch event, recordings of the event are available here. The videos include:

You can reference our press release and check out these articles in the Triangle Business Journal and WRAL TechWire for additional information.


For Founders: NC Venture Capital Program Details 

NCInvest is set up as a fund of funds and does not invest directly in businesses. Founders or small business owners interested in learning more about our venture partners handling direct investments should fill out this interest form. The information from interested founders will be shared with our venture partners once they are selected.


Why NCInvest: Small Businesses Face Barriers When Seeking Investment

Our state’s entrepreneurs need access to equity that goes beyond public dollars alone. NCInvest is a venture capital program designed to promote small business investing with existing investors who are integrated into economic development activity, which enables and promotes the growth of small businesses. These investors and entrepreneurial ecosystems go beyond public dollars and are vital to the sustainability of communities and the state.

By working with fund managers to infuse this capital into the marketplace, we are creating more jobs and enhancing economic development opportunities in the communities where they operate.

All questions regarding this program should be directed to