2024 FAST Bootcamp
First Flight's 2-Day SBA FAST Bootcamp: A Tremendous Success!

What an incredible journey! Our SBA FAST Bootcamp was packed with outstanding speakers and inspiring panelists who shared their experience and taught us how to successfully win SBIR/STTR grants.

🌟 Day 1 Speakers:
- Eva Garland, Ph.D., CEO, Eva Garland Consulting, LLC (EGC)
- Kelsey McLaughlin, Ph.D., Scientific Consultant, EGC
- Dana Upton, Ph.D., MBA, Scientific Consultant, EGC
- Angela Pollard, Ph.D., Scientific Consultant, EGC
- Aron Josefsberg, MBA, Senior Lead, Accounting & Compliance, EGC
- John Hardin, Ph.D., Executive Director, Office of Science, Technology & Innovation (OSTI), North Carolina Department of Commerce

🌟 Day 2:
- We listened in on DEFTECH Coffee Call featuring TechOpp.
- Held Startup Advisor meetings with First Flight Navigators

🌟 Shout out to our Day 2 Speakers:
- Ben Provan, Hangar6: SBIRs and Prototyping
- Suzie Koonce, Senior Consultant at Wells Fargo
- Julie W. Hampton, Senior Business Development Representative, Commercial Banking
- John Rudd, Hutchison, PLLC

Ecosystem Panelist
- Mike Carnes, NC Biotech
- Laura Gunter, NC LifeSci
- Bob Burton, DEFTECH
- Connor Steenbock, SBTDC

Winner’s Panel
- Sara Ford, Talus Ridge
- Amy Young, Jigsawdio

SBIR Agency Program Managers Panelists

Moderator: Elden Hawkes
- Melissa Li, National Cancer Institute
- Henry Ahn, National Science Foundation
Congratulations to our 2024 FAST Winners!

Silver Winners
  • Radiant Dx
  • AntiXero
  • Helical Analytics
  • Quanticision Diagnostics, Inc.
  • What Lies Beneath Concussion
  • Texture Tech
  • Revware Inc.
  • Skeeter Enterprises
  • Oracon Technologies, LLC
  • Graham Allen Assoc. LLC

Gold Winners
  • Vitality Robotics
  • Sable Fermentation, Inc.
  • Soteria Formulations
  • IngateyGen LLC
  • Cynitra Information Systems, L.L.C.
  • EMF Disturbance Monitors, Inc.

Platinum Winners
  • Lumius Imaging
  • Synap Biotech Inc.
  • Future Farm AgriTech, LLC

We're incredibly proud to celebrate your outstanding achievements.

🙌 Thank you to all our participants, speakers, mentors, and panelists for making this event unforgettable. Your enthusiasm and dedication are what drive First Flight forward!

A HUGE THANK YOU to our sponsors! We are grateful for your support.👏🏻

Wells Fargo
Hutchison PLLC
NC Life Sciences Organization
Financial Directions Group, Inc.
SmaBio Labs
North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBiotech) Center
TechOpp, Inc.
Smith Anderson

First Flight's Krista Covey and Andrea Conner were treated to a tour of BioBridges and received a very nice welcome.
It was wonderful having two companies with long relationships with First Flight this morning at Test Flight Pitch Practice: Turret Labs and Dignify Therapeutics!

👉🏻 Turret Labs’ core offering is the Block enRoll Dynamic Supply Chain Engineering Platform which includes over 20 Application Cartridges delivered as a SaaS solution.

👉🏻 Dignify Therapeutics is a pharmaceutical and medical device development company focused on restoring bowel and bladder control for elderly and neurologically impaired individuals.

Thank you, VJ Velu with Turret Labs and Anthony DiTonno with Dignify Therapeutics for sharing fascinating presentations at Test Flight!
It was an honor to give Bob Etheridge, State Executive Director, USDA a tour of First Flight and continue our conversation about the strong ecosystem for agriculture innovation in North Carolina. We were joined by Paul Ulanch from North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBiotech) and Thierry Duvanel, Bühler Group.
NEW Propeller Cohort Starting Soon!

Propeller is a 6-week entrepreneurial design thinking program that helps founders and
entrepreneurs determine whether there is sufficient value to pursue a product or
service idea. The program helps entrepreneurs identify potential markets, develop a
path to market strategy, and learn how to communicate the value of the idea to early
stakeholders and adopters.

Scholarships Opportunities
  • Partial scholarships for AgTech Companies sponsored by NC IDEA ($500)
  • Scholarships for Raleigh-based companies from the City of Raleigh
  • Scholarships for 6 Female founders for the SBA’s Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program
  • Scholarships for Defense Textiles and Wearables from the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program (DMCSP) from the Department of Defense

Please contact Emil Runge at or (404) 668-2136 if you have any
Please reach out to Darlene ( and Emil ( to learn more!
Hangar6 serves startups in North Carolina in an impactful way. Whether you need digital manufacturing and/or fabrication tools or need our assistance with the full fabrication process from design to finished products. Hangar6 is here to help you get your stuff made.

👉🏻 Watch the video to hear more from Hangar6's Director, Ben Provan.
First Flight "Itineraries" features NeuroGT, Inc. Tuesday 5/21, 12 -1 PM (HYBRID)

This month we are excited to welcome NeuroGT, Inc.!

NeuroGT, Inc. is an investigator-initiated biotech startup company. Our mission is to develop life-saving gene therapy products with compassion for the treatment of devastating rare neurogenetic diseases, towards clinical application and commercialization. The goal is to improve the quality of life for the affected children and their families.
Looking for a Deep Tech Workshop that provides education, equipment, resources, and an ecosystem to support you on your journey?

Look no further than First Flight's Hangar6 Deep Tech Workshop! This two-part Deep Tech Workshop is designed with founders in mind.

The speaker series will feature leaders, investors, and pioneers in the Deep Tech space sharing their unique experience, perspective, and approaches to innovating within this dynamic field.

Join us for our upcoming “Talking Shop” event on June 6th, 4:00-5:00 pm, with Austin Lewis is the Managing Partner at Tongrun Innovation, an engineering design firm that specializes in bridging the gap from core technology to practical manufacturing solutions.

After Talking Shop, join us for a First Flight Thirsty Thursday to enjoy complimentary beverages and light snacks.
Join us at First Flight Venture Center for our Annual Boil, Brews & Band event on June 20th from 4 - 7 PM. 

This fun ecosystem-building event is one you do not want to miss!

Come enjoy delicious food, great networking, live music, and a cornhole challenge. It’ll be a boiling good time!
Interested in becoming a sponsor of Boil, Brews & Band?

Contact Andrea Conner to learn more.
We're on the Lookout for a Title Sponsor.
Contact Andrea Conner to Learn More.
First Flight Venture Center is happy to
announce that nominations for our
2024 High Flyer Awards are now open!

We are excited to celebrate individuals and Companies who have soared to new heights and made a remarkable contribution to HIGH SCIENCE, HIGH IMPACT innovation, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem as a whole.

This is your chance to recognize and honor those exceptional individuals and companies who have inspired, innovated, and achieved greatness.

Who will you nominate?
EGC Spring Webinar Series (May 9, May 23, and/or June 6) Sign-up Here
State of Tech Exponential (May 22-23) Sign-up Here
NCMEP IME South (June 4-6) Sign-up Here
Medical, Biomedical & Biodefense: Support to the Warfighter Symposium (June 11-12) Sign-up Here
🎉👏🏻Huge congratulations to Dr. Rukiyah Van Dross-Anderson and Dr. Ying Wang for their outstanding work!

We are incredibly proud to have such talented individuals as part of our First Flight FAST program alumni.
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As the trade association for North Carolina’s life sciences industry, the NC Life Sciences Organization™ advances the industry and ecosystem and enables its members to innovate and collaborate for success in a global marketplace. NCLifeSci delivers policy and advocacy leadership, future-focused workforce development programs, industry connections and mission-driven member services.

Thank you to NCLifeSci and Laura Gunter and Natacha Janvier for your partnership.
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