One of the most significant incubators of small businesses in North Carolina is celebrating National Small Business Week with a visit from its district’s Congressman — and hopefully, from you.

And we’re proud to say that all four First Flight Venture Center (FFVC) startup companies making “Shark Tank”-type pitches at this shindig are being bootstrapped with loans from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (AKA you, as a North Carolina taxpayer).

The free public event, which will open with a brief talk by Congressman David Price, is scheduled for Tuesday, May 3, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. And while it’s open to everyone, it’ll help immensely if you RSVP so they can plan for parking and keep things rolling for the hour of fast-paced fascination.

The Research Triangle Park facility’s operators invited Price to visit FFVC to share insights on the importance of federally funded research grant programs, which are critical to First Flight companies.

Price’s Fourth District is the rapidly growing, research- and education-focused part of our state that includes the heart of the RTP.

Price will open with his observations on many years of involvement with this environment, leading into 10-minute presentations from:

  • SciKon Innovation
  • Camras Vision
  • Dignify Therapeutics
  • Nirvana Sciences

First Flight Venture Center, at 2 Davis Drive, was established in 1991 to serve the initial needs of entrepreneurs and early stage companies. It offers 20,000 square feet of leasable office and laboratory space for up to 40 emerging technology companies.

It’s designed to help launch companies that subsequently graduate from the facility, as financially viable and freestanding businesses, creating jobs and commercializing important new technologies that contribute to a stronger North Carolina economy.

First Flight’s approach enables tenant businesses to reduce both their initial capitalization requirements and their annual operation costs by providing affordable space with flexible leases, shared business services, technology support services, and management guidance and counseling. In other words, it’s a lot like the supportive family systems that are the hallmark of success in the world around us.

Besides the four companies making presentations during the Small Business Week event, there are 14 other FFVC resident companies involved in life science developments – five of those also receiving loan support as NCBiotech portfolio companies. Here’s the rundown, with NCBiotech portfolio companies denoted with asterisks:

  • Cell Microsystems*
  • CertiRx*
  • Centauri Surgical Systems
  • Clinical Sensors
  • Cytoflow
  • Excelerate Health Ventures
  • EthosExcel
  • Indexus Biomedical
  • Inanovate*
  • Novocor Medical Systems*
  • Sirga Advanced BioPharma*
  • SonoVol
  • Virasource
  • ViraTree

(C) N.C. Biotechnology Center