Durham Magazine Dec/Jan 2021

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durham inc.

Renovation, $250,000+; and CQC Home for Best Kitchen over $80,000. All American Entertainment announced on Oct. 1 that four of its team members – Edie Boan, Marissa Gallo, Katie Carson and Maddy Robinson – earned a Digital Event Strategist Certification through the Professional Convention Management Association. The DES certification covers a wide range of virtual event best practices and recognizes individuals as authorities on digital and livestream events.

MOVEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT

NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, selected 23 semifinalists from across the state in its 30th SEED grant cycle. Of the 23 semifinalists, five are based in Durham: Davos Corporation, NanoVest Inc., Rownd, Vizma Life Sciences and Wrangle. The $50,000 grants are intended to support business activities that validate target markets, reduce risk and help companies get to a point of suitability for growth. The seven grant recipients were announced in mid-November and included Davos Corporation, Vizma Life Sciences and Wrangle. The foundation also awarded $160,000 to 16 North Carolina startups during its fifth NC IDEA MICRO grant cycle. Since the inaugural cycle in spring 2018, NC IDEA MICRO has awarded $770,000 to 77 young companies across the state. Durham-based Lumen Design Group, Plantd Climbing, RIM HELMETS and SnapPicFix were among the grant recipients awarded funding up to $10,000 each to validate and advance their idea.

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Real estate developer Crosland Southeast plans to rezone a 31-acre parcel in North Durham near the intersection of Latta and Guess roads by Easley Elementary. The multi-use community will feature 200 townhomes, 55,000 square feet of retail space and a mid-size grocery store. It will also feature generous open space along with a courtyard adjacent to the neighborhood park designed to accommodate local food trucks. Many of the townhomes will be alley-loaded to support walkable streetscapes. Home prices will start at $200K. Construction begins in 2022 with completion set for 2023. North Carolina Central University School of Business received a four-year, $400,000 grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to launch an Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Research Clinic & Lab. Led by principal investigator and NCCU School of Business Director of Entrepreneurship Dr. Henry McKoy, the clinic and lab will support entrepreneurs and communities to create more equitable business ecosystems in Durham and across the United States, while diversifying the entrepreneurial research pipeline. “There has never been a more important time in our society than now to create a more inclusive, diverse and equitable economy,” McKoy

December/january 2021

said. The funding will also support fellowships for 100 undergraduate students and 12 faculty members across different disciplines at NCCU. Student fellows will engage in research and faculty fellows will learn to integrate entrepreneurial research into their disciplines and lead a sub-group of undergraduate entrepreneurial research fellows. Workshops also will be developed to introduce additional faculty members to entrepreneurial research, and 40 summer internships will give students the opportunity to return to their hometowns and other communities to work with local governments to examine the degree of equity present in municipal entrepreneurial ecosystems. Cree, a semiconductor and LED technology company, will donate $4 million to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University over the next five years as part of its long-term commitment to enrich the communities it serves. The initiative will lead to the establishment of the Cree | Wolfspeed Endowed Scholars Program, which will provide scholarship and program support to

students within the College of Engineering’s Helping Orient Minorities to Engineering Program and the College of Science and Technology’s Inspiring Minds Program. Through the scholarship, students will have the opportunity to be considered for paid summer internships with Cree | Wolfspeed as well as full-time employment with the company after graduation. Cree’s donation also marks the single largest donation in the university’s history. Online candle and soap retailer CandleScience signed a lease in October for a 144,000-squarefoot headquarters within the Regional Commerce Center at 1247 Pearson St., doubling the size of its East Coast fulfillment center. CandleScience has also steadily hired for warehouse positions since April and plans to add at least another 40 new positions in the coming months. “We’re very happy to be able to commit long-term to the Durham community, and keep our business here while increasing our size and capabilities,” said Mike Swimm, co-founder of CandleScience. “We owe much of our success to the quality of workforce in Durham and look forward to being able to offer more quality job opportunities to our community.” CandleScience is expected to move in some time in early to mid-year 2021.