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The Spark Grant Application status is CLOSED.

Cabarrus Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is offering $5,000 Spark Grants to entrepreneurs located in or adding jobs in Cabarrus County and surrounding communities to help them test ideas that can be commercialized successfully. Entrepreneurs receiving grants will be offered use of the coworking space in the Cabarrus Center at no charge for 6 months.

The Spark Grants are offered through the Flywheel Foundation, whose mission is to promote early- and growth-stage entrepreneurship in the markets served by Flywheel’s innovation centers. Funding for the grant program is coming from a title corporate sponsorship by Truist bank, with matching funds from the Foundation.

Qualified Applicants:

You can apply at the link below. Applications will be taken through midnight January 31, 2021. In order to qualify for a Spark Grant, you must:

  • Be a resident of Cabarrus County or a surrounding county.
  • Have an idea that solves a problem that makes an impact in the community or the market served
  • If you are a company, you must be pre-revenue or early stage.
  • Commit to utilizing the Cabarrus Center as a resource to help accelerate your business.
  • Be committed to launching a company if your idea proves out.
  • Enroll in the virtual “Applied Lean Startup Practices Course” by January 31, 2021. The instructor-led or self-directed course begins on February 2, 2021.


Selection Criteria:

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee of program partners on the Cabarrus Center’s Entrepreneurship Council, and up to five top ideas will receive grant awards. Grant awards will be made on or before February 28, 2021. Selection criteria include:

  • Creativity and innovation of the idea
  • Ability to distinguish this entrepreneur’s idea from others on the market
  • The overall strength and quality of team
  • Knowledge of market
  • Clarity of problem statement
  • Market fit of the proposed solution
  • A rating of the viability of the idea (product/service/technology)
  • Total viable market and estimated market share of target market
  • Commercialization plan and business model
  • Potential revenue, capitalization requirements, and financing plans
  • Overall assessment of the opportunity

Have Questions?

Still have questions about the Spark Grant? Click the button below for our frequently asked questions. 

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