North Carolina’s original science-based technology incubator

For more than 25 years First Flight Venture Center™ (FFVC) has supported the development and growth of high science, high impact entrepreneurial companies by providing the tailored resources, guidance, connections, and support required for sustained commercial success.

Originally developed by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, First Flight was spun out as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation and set up shop in the Research Triangle Park (RTP).

The home of “High Science, High Impact” technological innovation

Today, FFVC is one of the nation's largest, most stable incubators with a proven record of success. We’ve hosted more than 350 companies and helped launch businesses that have commercialized important new technologies, while creating thousands of jobs in North Carolina.

FFVC supports the development of innovative technologies and economic growth by providing early stage businesses with affordable laboratory and office space, management guidance and counseling, as well as shared business and technology support services.

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Our Services: customized and available when you need them

First Flight provides services and resources designed to meet the needs of different types of early-stage companies. We can assist first-time entrepreneurs as they transition from lab to market, while also providing serial entrepreneurs with the scaffolding needed for their next launch.

During our more than 25 years of operations, we’ve learned a lot from our companies’ experiences and we are continuously upgrading our offerings. Here is a sample of ongoing programs:

We provide access to grants that focus on transforming health security by accelerating the research, development, and availability of transformative countermeasures to protect Americans from natural and intentional health security threats. MORE >

SBIR/STTR Grant Seminars - FAST
We are expanding our outreach through a grant by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and State Technology Partnership Program that is designed to stimulate economic development by providing training, financial support, and business expertise to science and technology-focused, women-owned, rural-based, or socially/economically disadvantaged firms. MORE >

Helps early stage companies obtain grant funding by providing them with expert assistance in developing non-dilutive funding strategies and grant proposal preparation. MORE >

Our rapid prototyping facility is equipped with the tools and training to help you develop working models faster and less expensively. MORE >

We work to ensure that the benefits of economic modernization and growth have widespread social and geographical reach by bridging gaps in STEM education, particularly among students from disadvantaged backgrounds. MORE >

Our Guiding Principles

We are an environment for High Science, High Impact, early stage companies with large market potential and impact on the health, scientific and business communities.

We are geared toward what is best for startups and early stage companies.

We add value through leadership, guidance, business expertise, and a flexible infrastructure designed to benefit our members.

We operate in a fiscally-sound and transparent manner, and maintain a strong advisory structure.

We create a trusted environment for our members to talk through their ideas and development strategies as they work towards transforming great ideas into companies.

We launch ideas and create companies by:

  • Supporting development of innovative technologies

  • Growing sustainable companies that contribute to the NC economy

  • Providing training and coaching

  • Connecting members with resources (investment, CEOs, hiring, resources, etc.)

  • Providing resources: lab, office space, mentoring

  • Fostering education and community

  • Supporting members with services and access to knowledge and EIRs with domain expertise

  • Navigating vast and growing resources of the Triangle region

  • Helping members determine appropriate levels of resources at all stages of their journey

  • Eliminating risk and preparing companies to survive in the broader business world


Join us and we’ll help make your vison a reality

FFVC is much more than a vehicle for science focused startups to minimize their expenses and get to market faster—it’s a dynamic catalyst for technological innovation and societal advancement.