FFVC announced today that it was selected as a winner of the 2015 US Small Business Administration Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.  The RTP-based incubator was one of fifty winners revealed during the first ever White House Demo Day hosted by President Obama.  Each winner will receive a $50,000 grant.


First Flight Venture Center (FFVC) Wins 2015 SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

Recognized at first ever Demo Day at the White House, FFVC receives $50,000 in seed funding to initiate LiftOff Program

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – August 4, 2015 – First Flight Venture Center (FFVC) today announced it has been selected as a winner of the second annual US Small Business Administration (SBA) Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. The RTP-based incubator was one of fifty winners revealed during the first ever White House Demo Day, which also served as a platform for highlighting the White House Administration’s focus, accomplishments and efforts surrounding the American entrepreneurial and innovation engine.

“This grant is a unique opportunity for First Flight to fulfill its vision of creating new, innovative programs that help high science startups accelerate their commercialization journey,” says FFVC President Andrew Schwab.

Selected from more than 800 applicants, FFVC will use the $50,000 seed funding from SBA to initiate operations of its LiftOff Program, an innovative, cost-effective, efficient and self-sustaining solution to assist startup companies in obtaining grant funding. Targeting rising entrepreneurial companies who are developing a scientific technology with potential for high societal impact and present a strong value proposition likely to result in funding, LiftOff has been designed to grow and sustain itself without raising additional outside funds after the first three years of operation.

“The entrepreneurial ecosystem in America is incredibly exciting and very powerful,” said Javier Saade, Associate Administrator for Office of Investment and Innovation.  “Administrator Contreras-Sweet and I welcome this year’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition winners and the important and inclusive work they do in support of innovative and high-growth small businesses.”

The basis of the SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition is to ensure that a diverse set of entrepreneurs from all walks of life have the opportunity to participate in our innovation economy. Winners were selected based on their ability and/or plans to raise a 4-to-1 match of prizes awarded in the form of cash, in-kind donations or sponsorships.  Judges also gave particular attention to applicants that fill geographic, industry and economic gaps in the accelerator and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

President Obama’s call to action and other remarks from Demo Day can be followed online using #WHDemoDay.  People are also encouraged to join the conversation around helping American entrepreneurs of all types succeed at #SBAAccelerates.


First Flight Venture Center (FFVC) is the original and largest RTP technology incubator which averaging 37 tenants on an annual basis.  FFVC, originally spun out of the NC Department of Commerce in 1991, was established as a nonprofit to serve the initial needs of 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, Ganymede Software and ExamDesign, Inc. For more information, please visit https://ffvcnc.org/.