Editor’s note: LimeLight is a regular feature from WRAL TechWire offering another means of publishing noteworthy news. Be sure to check out more LimeLight worthy news at this link.


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK –  First Flight Venture Center, a science and technology incubator in Research Triangle Park, NC, is excited to announce that it has 25 scholarships available for two categories including female entrepreneurs and product manufacturing startups, in order that they might participate in First Flight’s Propeller Program.

If entrepreneurs fall into either or both categories they are encouraged to apply today as the scholarships will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

Propeller is an entrepreneurial design thinking program which helps founders and entrepreneurs, including first-timers, determine whether there is sufficient value to pursue a product or service idea. The program, based in part on the Wendy Kennedy Institute (WKI) methodology but tailored to science and technology-focused companies, 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. Over six weeks of instruction, Propeller enables innovators to utilize the tools provided and peer interaction to consider angles from the business problem, customer value, and competitive edge–resulting in a clear understanding about the business direction and value of their idea and how to present this value in an investor-ready pitch.

“These scholarships will enable early-stage startups to receive expert guidance and business education that could further help them launch their company into the marketplace,’ First Flight President, Krista Covey. ’It is this kind of entrepreneurial support that makes it possible for First Flight to fulfill its mission of propelling early-stage science companies to commercial success.’”

The scholarships, designated for women entrepreneurs and product manufacturing startups, were made possible by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Federal and State Technology(FAST) Partnership Program and Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and NC IDEA, a private foundation that supports entrepreneurship in North Carolina. Each scholarship covers the costs of the program, and allows entrepreneurs who might otherwise have not been able to afford the Propeller Program, to experience its benefits.

“The Propeller Program at First Flight is one of the best career promoting experiences of my life,’ explained Madhavi Reddy, M.D., Founder of Rocana Health LLC. ‘As a physician entrepreneur, I have an idea but needed the skills to successfully execute the idea. This high science program offered me the tools to successfully build upon my idea to launch the business.’”

Entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for one of the Propeller Program scholarships by either visiting www.ffvcnc.org/propeller or by emailing Emil Runge at erunge@ffvcnc.org to learn more.