RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – With regular updates to keep content fresh, WRAL TechWire’s Triangle Startup Guide offers a timely resource package for anyone looking to start or grow a business in the Triangle area.

Today, we’re back with a newly-announced resource for local entrepreneurs. The latest update comes to the “Accelerators and Mentorship Programs” section of the guide, where we list more than 40 programs for local entrepreneurs.

New in our Triangle Startup Guide is the WheelsUP Accelerator for life science startups. First Flight Venture Center, an incubator based in RTP, recently opened up applications.

In its first cohort, kicking off this August, the 12-week program will guide startups through scaling their biotech and health security products/services. In addition to education and mentorship, companies get cash prizes and the potential for follow-on funding from the program’s partner venture funds.

WheelsUP will culminate in entrepreneurs pitching for a $50,000 cash prize at an event hosted by the Biomedical Research and Development Authority (BARDA) sometime this fall.

Though First Flight Venture Center is based in RTP, the accelerator will be conducted virtually. But entrepreneurs would still need to attend BARDA’s event later this year.

The launch is part of a broader strategic plan FFVC unveiled last December to expand its programs for early-stage life science companies needing support in their first years of business.

The first cohort is scheduled to begin in mid-August. Interested entrepreneurs have until June 10 to apply.

Application Deadline: First Flight Venture Center’s WheelsUP Accelerator

Other recent additions to the Triangle Startup Guide

Every week, we update the guide with new resources for local entrepreneurs for our exclusive Triangle Startup Guide. If we missed something, please feel free to suggest it for inclusion. You can email me directly or use this contact form.

In case you missed it, check out all the updates we made in 2021. And here’s a review of the additions from recent weeks:

  • In the “COVID Relief Resources” section, we added the NC Department of Revenue’s recently re-opened Business Recovery Grant Program. Serving businesses with economic losses of at least 20%, the program consists of a hospitality grant for arts, entertainment and recreation businesses, as well as food-service and accommodation businesses. A reimbursement grant of up to $500,000 is also available for other businesses, even ones that have received COVID relief from other programs. Applications close on June 1.
  • We added The Loading Dock’s new Wake Forest space to the guide’s interactive map of local coworking spaces and incubators. The space opened in December, marking The Loading Dock’s first expansion outside of Raleigh. Fitting for both individual entrepreneurs and startup teams, the space includes dedicated desks, oversized coworking tables, private offices, meeting rooms for up to 45 people and event space for over 200 attendees.
  • We added Dolphin Tank, a series of pitch events for women entrepreneurs, to the “Competitions, Grants & Other Funding Sources” section. The program is expanding to the Triangle, with an agtech-focused event on June 1 in RTP. According to the website, the event is part of a partnership with a handful of prominent organizations in the local startup ecosystem, including Pappas Capital, NC IDEA, Rex Health Ventures and Alexandria LaunchLabs.

Dolphin Tank: AgTech in the Triangle

  • In the “Competitions, Grants & Other Funding Sources” section, we updated the listing for the annual AdvanSE Life Sciences Conference to reflect the latest data about its PitchRounds program. Held every year in the Atlanta area, the event invites life science companies across the Southeast to present their solutions in biopharma, digital health, diagnostics, medical devices and agricultural biotechnology. Per new data on the event website, the 500 companies selected to participate in PitchRounds since its inception have raised $7.6 billion in 790 funding transactions, with 70 subsequent IPOs and merger and acquisition events. The next edition will be held during the 2022 AdvanSE Life Sciences Conference, running May 25–⁠27 in Georgia.

2022 AdvanSE Life Science Conference (in Alpharetta, Georgia)

More recent additions

  • In the “Free Events and Meetups” section, we added Raleigh-Durham Startup Week—an annual event hosted by prominent startup accelerator Techstars. The four-day program brings together the local startup community to celebrate recent accomplishments, discuss emerging business topics, share innovative ideas and make new connections. This year’s Raleigh-Durham Startup Week ran from April 19 to April 22 at various venues in Durham:

Raleigh-Durham Startup Week is almost here – a Triangle Tech Star tells us what to expect