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In collaboration with NC State University’s “Blue Economy Innovation Program”, Stardust Startups NC (SSNC) is proud to present the Spring 2024 edition of the $500 Coastal Idea Challenge.

Win $500 and priority status in our annual microgrant program for startups!

Key information

We will accept all applications, no matter your age or location. The key is that you are an emerging entrepreneur building an idea for a Blue Economy endeavor you believe could make a positive social and environmental impact.

It is not necessary to be affiliated with a college or university.

One entry is allowed per person. (If a group is submitting, individuals in the group may not be on more than one project entry.) 

The proposed solution/idea must relate to Blue Economy challenges/opportunities demonstrated in coastal North Carolina and align with the following Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Climate Action: heat and water-related coastal issues
  • Sustainable Communities: economic and environmental resilience in the face of climatic and human-driven vulnerabilities


Subject matter experts and Stardust Startups NC’s Advisory Board members review and rank the submissions, determining the degree that each (1) has the potential to become a Blue Economy solution and (2) aligns with SSNC’s mission and vision.

How to submit

All submissions must be received HERE by 11:59 PM on April 11, 2024.

The online form will ask you a few short questions and require you to upload at least one digital file explaining your idea. Creative ways of describing your idea are encouraged! Examples: written text with images (PDF format), short film or animation, PowerPoint presentation, descriptive infographic, etc.

Winner notified by email on May 1st.

Submit your idea here

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$500 Coastal Idea Challenge (Spring 2024 Edition)

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