As the host of the NC Department of Commerce Board of Science, Technology, and Innovation meeting on May 14, 2015, FFVC was given the opportunity to speak directly with Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla III about some of the issues facing startup companies here in the Triangle and new programs First Flight is developing to support entrepreneurs and “high science, high impact” businesses.

FFVC President Andy Schwab, along with First Flight Board Chairman, Mary Musacchia, discussed the importance behind non-dilutive, early-stage funding and it’s ability to build an ecosystem, leading to jobs in the R&D and manufacturing space. Schwab and Musacchia also talked with Secretary Skvarla about the importance of increasing the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Matching Grant fund, as well as the individual grant awards, which have decreased over the last few years.

Additionally, two FFVC resident companies, and SBIR grant recipients, Camras Vision and Cell Microsystems, were invited to present during the meeting.

Following the presentations, Secretary Skvarla and NC Commerce board members were taken on a guided tour of the First Flight facility, one of the largest and most stable incubators in the nation.

NC Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla III engages with FFVC Board of Directors Chairman Mary Musacchia.

NC Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla III engages with FFVC Board of Directors Chairman Mary Musacchia.

NC Commerce Secretary Skvarla and Cecilia Holden, Chief of Staff, NC Department of Commerce, learn about FFVC resident company SonoVol from Co-Founder Ryan Gessner PhD.

NC Commerce Secretary Skvarla and Cecilia Holden, Chief of Staff, NC Department of Commerce, learn about FFVC resident company SonoVol from Co-Founder Ryan Gessner PhD.