GRO Testimonials

Active Defender

Fall 2020 Tech Cohort

Teachers make good decisions based on what they know and where they are. Active Defender makes sure they can instantly know exactly what and where the problem is anywhere on campus in the midst of a campus emergency.

“I can sum it up in three letters. WOW! GRO was the best spent 9 weeks in the life of Active Defender. Connecting with coach Will Shook who time to understand where we were and then use his wisdom to lead us to a better place, was excellent. Will helped with our understanding of having a unified message and craft a more concise and improved message. GRO also connected us with many experts within the entrepreneurial community. The fireside chats were invaluable, from valuing customer discovery to understanding and appreciating the various possibilities for raising capital. Many of the speakers went above and beyond by allowing and encouraging us to connect directly with them. As a result of this, Chris Hively helped us with our pitch deck, and John Hawthorn helped us begging to grasp the value of growth hacking. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND GRO to all entrepreneurs!

– Jim Boyte, Active Defender

Clever Education

Fall 2020 Tech Cohort

A comprehensive, integrated and user-friendly SaaS platform specifically designed for Montessori schools.

“We could not be happier about and more thankful for our experience with CED’s GRO program. The program was very well thought out and helped us gain valuable information about best practices for start-ups and avoiding errors that could have cost us money and time. Our coach was incredibly knowledgeable and supportive. He dispensed his advice and suggestions in a professional yet caring manner, leading us to make discoveries by guiding our thought process. He made us feel comfortable and supported, yet challenged us in many ways which helped us grow and learn. CED brought in exceptional speakers whose experience and expertise was inspirational and motivating. They shared their wisdom generously. Our only regret is to not have found the GRO program a few months earlier! We feel so much better equipped to move our company forward thanks to Jay, Dan, and all the coaches’ and speakers’ wisdom. All was done in a professional manner with good humor and supportive spirit.”

– Dominique & Serge Mouthon, Clever Education Solutions


Fall 2020 Tech Cohort

Helping students make informed choices about their future by providing them with interactive content that shows them every pathway they can pursue after graduation.

“I’d just like to thank you all for the opportunity of allowing my partner, Jalen, and I to participate in you all’s program. We were lucky enough to receive funding from a donor which made us that much more thankful and pushed us to get the most out of what we were provided. Learning within those weeks of the program was a lot, but because of who it came from I was sure that it was worth listening to and remembering every word. With the addition of our more specified help from our coach Wendy, I feel more confident and ready for YouEmbark’s next steps and I honestly do not believe that I would without you all’s help. So I again, I thank you so very much for all of the help that you provided my partner and I. It was truly an amazing experience!”

– Marcus Krah, YouEmbark


Fall 2020 Tech Cohort

Building trust between individuals and organizations while giving users the ability to take control of their personal digital data and allowing them to select who to share with.

“CED’s GRO program has provided Truentity with a solid foundation for growth. The staff carefully choreographed a nice blend of in-class working sessions with live fireside chats with local VCs and entrepreneurs. The 1:1 time with assigned coaches is one of the most valuable assets of the program. In the end, you get what you put into the program. Keep up the great work Jay & team!”

– Mike Desai, Truentity


Fall 2020 Tech Cohort

A digital health tool that can help decrease the risk of breast cancer by 4% by increasing breastfeeding rates among postpartum nursing women.

“We came to GRO as an idea company. In three short months with the help of GRO advisors and team, we have completed the customer discovery and created a working prototype. The best part was that the most prominent technology industry minds helped our startup craft a sound product and go-to-market strategy. Not to mention the exposure that we got on Demo Day. It would be impossible to get that kind of support on our own.”

– Liliana Cantrell, IMAMA

Equity Shift

Fall 2020 Tech Cohort

Equity Shift is the simplest, fastest, and cheapest way to process private securities transfers.

“The access and coaching from local venture leaders helped Equity Shift prepare for the fundraising process. CED is fueling the potential growth of our local ecosystem by connecting small startups with the resources they need most.”

– Will Duckett, Equity Shift


Spring 2022 Life Science Cohort

“For technical founders looking to develop their business acumen skills, GRO is here to support you. As scientists, we test hypotheses in different experiments to design our solutions. We need to put in the same work to test our assumptions in the market, so we can launch as soon as possible.  As entrepreneurs, we immediately believe what is in our minds is what is going to solve the problem. GRO helped me implement a process that is repeatable, and allowed me to capture market feedback that I used to validate my solution.”

– Khalid Eishowaya, Hadiya 


Spring 2022 Life Science Cohort

Mycologics was selected to participate in GRO, shortly after being named a NC Idea Microgrant. I was encouraged by the NC Idea team to participate in both support programs. And as a graduate, I feel extremely grateful for the experience for three primary reasons. 

1) I learned how to do an unbiased and effective customer discovery interview 

2) I learned how to plan and prepare for a pitch presentation and 

3) I finally understood the concept of a lean startup 

There are really a lot of good things to say about why CED’s tagline is “we help you build your company“. One short answer may be because they build “you” – the founding CEOs like me. They connect you with mentors who work with you 1-1.  Every week they strengthen you with sessions on different topics. For companies who get selected for the CED incubator program, congratulations and welcome to the CED family! 

-Anindya Chanda, Mycologics