With the support of the Flywheel Foundation, the Cabarrus Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship just wrapped up its first grant cycle of $5,000 Spark Grants offered to entrepreneurs located in or adding jobs to the county. The grants will help Founders test out ideas that can be commercialized successfully.
Over 21 companies applied and all will continue to benefit from the Cabarrus Center resources, coaching and curriculum. Two companies finished as runner-up and are still competing for the remaining grant funds. The Flywheel Foundation is allocating $25,000 from a Truist Bank corporate sponsorship to fund the first cohort of grant awards.
Battery Xchange has designed an eco-friendly charging kiosk that acts as a rental-on-demand charger station where patrons can check out the portable charger for their mobile electronic devices that patrons can utilize on the go convenience using our mobile application. Their solution also allows businesses to interact and engage with their customers using our digital screens.
“For us, the Spark Grant was much more than just funds needed as an early-stage company. The value we found was in the community support. Being able to land warehouse space was extremely important at this point because our business is beginning to ramp up with more, and more new kiosk placements. Community is extremely important to us. Having an opportunity to bring our kiosk to the Cabarrus/Kannapolis community is a great way for us to share our value in helping people Live Life Charged!” – Desmond Wiggan, Battery Xchange Co-Founder
Cellular Farms is developing a bio manufacturing vertical farm to produce plant extracts for the food and beverage industry at the NCRC Food Innovation lab and will be HQ’d at the Cabarrus Center.
“We are excited to be part of the fantastic changes that are happening at the North Carolina Research Campus. The Spark Grant will provide funding enabling Cellular Farms to work more closely with others on the campus to make an impact on health and nutrition throughout the world.” – Steven Lewis, Co-Founder of Cellular Farms
Groopwork is building a platform for cohort based study groups for professional development certification. The GroopED program places like-minded people into study accountability cohorts of 3-5 people, provides them the study plan, workbooks, and virtual learning community to group study with one another, and hold one another accountable for a unique learning experience.
“The Spark Grant Program is not only refreshing for Cabarrus County but it’s helping build a community of entrepreneurs that would normally look to the Charlotte business community for similar programs and support. Programs like this will drive innovation and jobs into our community in a way we haven’t seen before. I’m proud to be part of the inaugural class from Concord. I look forward to building a strong collaborative relationship with the Cabarrus Center and appreciate their support as I work to grow my business.” – Adrian Marable, Groopwork
SERV is an incubator shared space concept for entrepreneurs wanting to enter the stylist industry. She wants to begin to scale her successful concept in Charlotte to Cabarrus County. Her focus is on educating the Youth in the Black/ BIPPOC community on how to conduct themselves in business by providing the tools to become business owners through coaching, shadowing, seminars, hands-on learning and exposure to proven systems; touring successful business/work environments. Seminars and classes promote a positive mindset, encouraging good daily habits and life skills, finances/budgeting, respect and decorum, goal setting and focused learning for successful outcomes.
“This has been a challenging yet rewarding experience. I am thankful for the Udacity Course, Flywheel CoWorking and The Cabarrus Spark Grant! My business partner Connie and I (Often referred to as the Dynamic Duo) are looking forward to celebrating the grand opening of SERV Salon Suites and Career Coaching in this area! We are Surely a step closer to setting a New Economic Standard in Cabarrus County.” – LaTika Mercer, Lucky You Salon and Suites