On November 4, 2015, Lynn L. Douthett, Director of SBA/North Carolina District, will formally present FFVC with prize money from the SBA Accelerator Fund Competition. This money will help initiate operation of their LiftOff program which was designed to help North Carolina’s scientific entrepreneurs with the early grant process while working toward commercialization and before seeking traditional venture capital.

First Flight Venture Center to Receive $50,000 Check From US Small Business Administration (SBA)
RTP-Based Incubator Wins National Prize for LiftOff Program

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – OCTOBER 28, 2015 – One of 50 winners chosen from over 800 applicants across the country, First Flight Venture Center (FFVC) received a big boost for their LiftOff program by winning the SBA Accelerator Fund Competition in August. The prize money is earmarked to initiate operations of this innovative program designed to assist North Carolina’s scientific entrepreneurs with the early grant process.

On November 4, 2015, Lynn L. Douthett, Director of SBA/North Carolina District, will make the formal presentation of the prize money at 1pm in the Executive Conference Room of First Flight Venture Center, 2 Davis Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.

“We are so excited to have Lynn Douthett from the SBA present us with $50,000 to jump start our LiftOff program. Tom Mercolino, President and CEO of CertiRx, and SciKon CEO Randy McClellan will be at the event, representing our First Flight companies. It will be a time to celebrate,” states FFVC President Andrew Schwab. “This novel program is designed to help high science, high impact startups move closer toward their goal of being fully funded and getting to market. And that is what First Flight is all about.”

LiftOff was chosen from the large pool of applicants because their program model is designed to help North Carolina’s scientific entrepreneurs get early non-dilutive funding for their technology startups which can be difficult and time-consuming. In-house executives and grant experts provide leveraged, professional grant support for LiftOff startups so they can develop this important funding resource for their company and keep working towards commercialization prior to seeking traditional venture capital, helping build the next generation of great ideas in science-based technology.

First Flight Venture Center (FFVC) is the original and largest RTP technology incubator, averaging 37 tenants on an annual basis. Originally spun out of the NC Department of Commerce in 1991, FFVC was established as a nonprofit to serve the initial needs of high science, high impact entrepreneurs and early stage companies. Today, First Flight is one of the nation’s largest and most stable incubators and has played host to more than 276 companies since its inception. Some of the most recognizable companies that started at FFVC include United Therapeutics, SciQuest, Bloodhound Software, Ganymede Software, Advanced Liquid Logic and ExamDesign, Inc. For more information, please visit https://ffvcnc.org/.