NC IDEA, an organization committed to supporting business innovation and economic advancement in North Carolina, announced today that it has awarded $220,000 in grants this year to five North Carolina startups.

BaseTrace was one of five grant recipients who were chosen after a highly competitive four-month application and selection process which drew 159 applications from 24 counties across the state.

BaseTrace designs DNA-based tracers that can establish liability, generate valuable information and reduce costs for oil and gas firms engaged in the highly-scrutinized ‘fracking’ industry. BaseTrace’s simple detection process can determine whether hydraulic fracturing fluid has migrated into drinking water, reducing litigation exposure for companies and improving relations with local communities

A committee comprised of experienced venture investors, industry experts and seasoned entrepreneurs assisted NC IDEA in selecting 11 finalists who were given the opportunity to pitch their idea in person, ultimately resulting in five winners. “This grant cycle was extraordinarily competitive and had one of the strongest contingents of applicants in the history of NC IDEA’s grant program,” said David Rizzo, CEO and President of NC IDEA.