October 27, 2014

The Launch Place, a nonprofit organization that provides consulting services and investment and subsidy opportunities for startups in Danville, Va., is partnering with a Research Triangle Park- based technology incubator, First Flight Venture Center (FFVC), to attract FFVC resident companies to The Launch Place Seed Fund as they look to become viable and competitive.

According to The Launch Place’s President & CEO Eva Doss, this seed fund can be first money for companies seeking angel and other equity-based investors and can serve as an accelerator for companies needing more limited capital to launch. “We have the flexibility to structure deals as debt, convertible debt or equity,” she said.

Since this seed fund’s establishment less than a year ago, The Launch Place has invested $250,000 in three companies for a total investment of $750,000. These companies are:

  • KSI Data Sciences, LLC
  • CirrusWorks Venture, LLC
  • SEAL Innovation, Inc.

As a partner, The Launch Place also will offer consulting services to First Flight companies who are eligible for seed fund investments and office and residential subsidies in Danville, Va. The Launch Place will be holding office hours at the FFVC offices twice per month.

First Flight and The Launch Place also will continue to work together on The Big Launch Challenge, a high-stakes competition for early-stage North Carolina and Virginia-based companies focused on IT, software, and green technologies and advanced manufacturing. The first Big Launch Challenge was held at the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research (IALR) in Danville, Va., in May, 2014 and attracted over 37 NC and VA companies; The next Big Launch Challenge will be held in the spring of 2015 at IALR.

“First Flight’s mission is to help our residents graduate to become financially successful, freestanding businesses,” said Andy Schwab, First Flight CEO. “We’ll be able to better do that by partnering with The Launch Place, itself a successful startup with extensive experience consulting for entrepreneurs and their early-stage companies.”

“This partnership helps bridge the gap from an idea to the creation of a business and initial investment,” said Doss. “First Flight incubates innovation until it’s ready for commercialization, and we are pleased to partner with them to help position their clients for success.”