Connecting Asheville to SBIR/STTR’s

 The SBTDC and Emily Breedlove, the executive director of the Hatch AVL Foundation in Asheville, recently collaborated to host an SBIR/STTR session that was co-sponsored by the NC Biotechnology Center, Western Carolina University, Appalachian State University, UNC Asheville and Lenoir-Rhyne University. The event was held on October 29th in Asheville and 42 registrants signed up to attend. Members of the Tech team coordinated and delivered the program content.

Highlights of the session included an overview of the SBIR/STTR programs and tips on how to submit a competitive proposal by SBTDC Tech team members Nicole Schwerbrock and David Walker. This was followed by an SBIR awardee panel including, Eric Buckland, CEO of Four Pi Innovations, Joshua Mellon, CFO and Senior Scientist of Blue Ridge Research and Consulting and Dr. Philip Schaefer, founder and CEO of Vortant Technologies. Together, the panelists’ companies have received well over $10 million in SBIR and STTR awards from several agencies. The event wrapped up with Dr. Joseph Ruiz and David Walker speaking about how proposals are reviewed (both Dr. Ruiz and Mr. Walker have frequently served as SBIR/STTR proposal reviewers). The regional Procurement Technical Assistance Counselor, Pamela Racer, provided a quick overview of government contracting.

The SBTDC’s Technology Commercialization Team is a recognized leader in the SBIR/STTR programs and its members have years of experience as SBIR/STTR awardees, trainers and proposal reviewers. Popular and informative seminars like this one in Asheville are held each year throughout the state. The next session will be on December 13th in Greensboro, followed by another SBIR event on February 21st in Charlotte.

Contributed by:  David Walker, SBTDC

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