Contact: Krista Covey
First Flight Venture Center, Inc. 
Research Triangle Park, NC
Phone: (919) 990-8558

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 24, 2023

Winning More SBIRs/STTRs Awards in North Carolina - ANNOUNCING A SERIES OF EDUCATIONAL EVENTS throughout North Carolina on 8, 9, 22, and 23 March 2023.
First Flight Venture Center will partner with the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Board of Science, Technology & Innovation, the NC Defense Technology Transition Office (DEFTECH), and four NC Community Colleges to host a series of SBIR/STTR Educational Events.

The purpose of this training is to educate and inform more small businesses in North Carolina’s vastly growing science/technology ecosystem on how to compete and win more Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards from federal agencies. Known as America’s Seed Fund™, the SBIR/STTR programs are the single largest source of early-stage technology development and commercialization funding for small businesses. A key goal of the events is to increase the number and quality of SBIR & STTR Phase I proposals and the number of awards to NC applicants filing for the first or second time. All interested small businesses are encouraged to attend the events, particularly those that are from rural areas, are owned by women or economically disadvantaged applicants, or are interested in pursuing SBIR/STTR awards from various federal agencies. 
Each event is specifically designed to be a combination of talks and 1:1s, with less of an emphasis upon the “big picture” SBIR/STTR, and more of an operational emphasis on answering the question, “What don’t I know that you can tell me today that will make a difference in my ability to win an SBIR/STTR award?” 

Attendees will learn:
  • Why SBIRs and STTRs should be on your list of ways to find funding
  • How the government agencies are different when it comes to SBIRs and STTRs
  • Preparing your company to be eligible to bid on these opportunities
  • Break down the process for a SBIR and learn how to form a strategy

Our Instructors have decades of experience in supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses, including raising awareness of and preparing companies to compete successfully for the SBIR/STTR application process across a wide range of federal agencies, and will provide instructional materials that will build upon the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program that First Flight Venture Center has delivered for several years. First Flight Venture Center is nationally recognized for its outreach to applicants outside of the traditional research areas of North Carolina, including rural applicants, women, and economically disadvantaged applicants.

Attendees will hear and learn from qualified instructors:
  • Denny Lewis, Director, NC DEFTECH
  • Bob Burton, Senior Manager, NC DEFTECH. 
  • Krista Covey, President, First Flight Venture Center. 
  • Dave Kaiser, Deputy Director, NC Board of Science, Technology & Innovation, which is staffed by the Office of Science, Technology & Innovation in the NC Department of Commerce
  • Dr. Mark Roberson, Hanger6, Director, First Flight Venture Center

The training events will be held in the following locations and dates from 9:30am-4:00pm:

Wednesday, March 8: Fayetteville
Fayetteville Technical Community College – Horticulture Education Campus
670 N. Eastern Blvd, Fayetteville, NC 28301

The following agencies will be featured:
  • The Department of Defense (DoD)
  • The Department of Energy (DoE)

Thursday, March 9: Wilmington
Cape Fear Community College
CFCC Union Station (U) Building
502 N Front St, Wilmington, NC 28401

The following agencies will be featured:
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)

Wednesday, March 22: Winston-Salem
Forsyth Technical Community College at Innovation Quarter
Building: 525@Vine, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Room 2446/2447
Parking Lot P5: 620 N Research Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

The following agencies will be featured:
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)

Thursday, March 23: Boone
Caldwell Community College – Watauga Campus
Dome Room Building W460, Room 135
460 Community College Drive, Boone, NC 28607

The following agencies will be featured:
  • The Department of Defense (DoD)
  • The Department of Energy (DoE)

For more information about First Flight’s programs and events, visit or email Krista Covey at

About First Flight Venture Center

First Flight Venture Center is a high-science, high-impact science-focused business incubator and innovation hub located in the heart of Research Triangle Park, NC. Established in 1991, First Flight has hosted more than 400 plus science-focused companies, providing strategic education, tailored resources, guidance, business connections and office/lab space in a 25,000 sq.ft. facility. First Flight has launched businesses that have commercialized important new science breakthroughs and disruptive technologies, while creating thousands of jobs in North Carolina. For more information, visit or view First Flight video.

About DEFTECH The North Carolina Defense Technology Transition Office (DEFTECH) is a state funded entity of the North Carolina Military Business Center. Through education, outreach, networking, and liaison, DEFTECH enables elements of the North Carolina innovation ecosystem to address complex national security problems. ( )
DEFTECH serves DoD and federal agencies and the innovation ecosystem by: scouting the state for breakthrough technologies, coaching the industry to identify defense applications, communicating federal technology needs, positioning businesses to meet requirements, representing North Carolina to federal customers, conducting emerging technology forums, and serving as the North Carolina liaison to DoD and federal innovation offices.

The North Carolina Board of Science, Technology & Innovation is a State-authorized advisory board administered by the Office of Science, Technology & Innovation in the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Its mission is to improve the economic well‐being and quality of life of all North Carolinians through advancing science, technology, and innovation. To achieve its mission, the Board develops and administers policies and programs, including the SBIR/STTR-focused One North Carolina Small Business Program, that accelerate both the development of next-generation technology companies and the creation and adoption of technology across existing industries. It identifies and communicates emerging opportunities in science and technology and prepares and publishes analyses outlining the competitive position of North Carolina’s businesses and research institutions in these areas.