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First Flight Venture Center Earns 2018 Grant
September 27, 2018

First Flight Venture Center (First Flight), a Research Triangle Park-based science and technology incubator for North Carolina entrepreneurs, has been awarded a $125,000 grant by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program. First Flight is one of just 24 national recipient organizations recognized nationwide that provide support to science-focused entrepreneurs developing innovative and disruptive technologies. The FAST grant specifically recognized First Flight’s ability to expand its successful LiftOff and grant writing program to include under-represented entrepreneurial companies across North Carolina.

“Receiving this FAST grant enables First Flight to expand the proven benefits of our LiftOff Program statewide in North Carolina to provide outreach and critical support for early stage science-focused companies in rural communities, as well as traditionally under-represented entrepreneurs, including women and minorities,” explained Andrew Schwab, president of FFVC. “The strategic investor readiness evaluation and grant proposal support that our LiftOff Program provides to these entrepreneurs will enable a new generation of science and technology-focused companies to successfully secure additional SBA funding to advance the development of technologies that will benefit all North Carolinians and the world.”

Proposals for the FAST awards were limited to one per state or U.S. territory, based on the endorsement of each governor. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper made the recommendation for First Flight’s application and as reported by the Small Business Administration, the field of applicants was highly competitive.

The SBA’s FAST program is designed to stimulate economic development by providing training, financial support, and business expertise to technology-focused small businesses, with an emphasis on helping women-owned, rural-based, and socially/economically disadvantaged firms to participate in SBA development programs, such as the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) initiatives.

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