Startup

ABOUT US

Your Answer to Winning Non-Diluted Federal Funds!

OppsSpot, LLC provides consulting services for start-up and small technology companies looking to commercialize their ideas through strategic partnering and Government contracting and grants.  Specializing in the SBIR / STTR program.

We have helped companies raise tens of millions of dollars in federal funding! Let us help you too!

OppsSpot, LLC is a woman-owned small business (WOSB).

THE OPPSSPOT TEAM

Get to Know Us

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SONIA VOHNOUT

Sonia has held executive management and senior technical positions and has co-founded several companies. Sonia has over 30 years of experience in systems engineering, quality systems, business development and program management.  She is well known for her expertise in the SBIR/STTR program and offers consulting services to assist small business with this and other government funding vehicles. Sonia has helped start-ups and small businesses raise tens of millions of dollars of federal funding.


Sonia has a BS and MS in Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona.

On her free time, Sonia enjoys painting and hiking. She also volunteers for the American Heart Association and the Immune Deficiency Foundation.

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CHRIS BRIDGEWATER

Chris is experienced in business startup, strategy development and execution. Seventeen years of experience working with the US Government as an employee and contractor. With his experience in manufacturing and quality systems management. As a CEO/CFO, Chris has the ability to empathize with challenges and understand strengths at all levels of a corporation in a way that is rarely found. He is well known for parsing challenges into achievable goals. He also has experience creating and leading teams to meet large objectives.

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IRENE BOND

Austin, Texas


MS Technology Commercialization and MS Information Science


Irene Bond brings with her to OppsSpot over 30 years of experience of owning and operating startups and worked for publicly traded companies in a wide range of roles. Irene enjoys solving  puzzles for companies by articulating  a clear and compelling value proposition and determining their entry niche. She is a people person who excels at engaging her target audience  in a meaningful conversation that helps uncover their needs and a vision of the potential solution.


“In each of my 4 distinct careers I've helped one or more  key clients find a solution that surpassed their expectations and reduced some type of business pain.”


Irene is a foodie at heart. She spends her free time mastering vegan cooking and baking that will have your taste buds singing. She loves the challenge of creating vegan counterparts to their conventional contemporary, where you can’t taste the difference between either.

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PETER NESTLER

Tucson, AZ 

Life Sciences/CEO and Founder @ Biodarix Lifesciences LLC.


Ph.D. in Chemistry, Johann-Wolfgang-von-Goethe University


With a career that spans over 25 plus years of experience in academic research and pharmaceutical lead discovery, Peter Nestler brings experience in drug discovery and development, research informatics, as well as a broad technical knowledge across all life sciences. He has led global teams and networks in both the US and Europe along with multiple grant-funded projects. Peter has worked on the discovery and development of therapeutic Cystic Fibrosis agents that will soon be entering clinical trials. 


“I like the dynamics and the risk taking spirit of the entrepreneurs. Helping them to succeed technically as well in the business axis and mentoring them to avoid costly or fatal mistakes is very rewarding.”


Peter enjoys the outdoors, whether it is around the world in places like Mt. Everest, Africa, tropical islands and south-east Asia, or throughout the Old Pueblo

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XIYAO ZHANG

PhD in Physics, North Carolina State University 


Dr. Xiyao Zhang brings 15 years of experience in management, strategic marketing, R&D and manufacturing to her role at OppsSpot. With a combination of strong business acumen and technical knowledge, her goal is to help companies succeed in the semiconductor and photonics industry. She has worked at both Apex Microtechnology and Texas Instruments, she excelled in  R&D production increases and successful product family and product creation with revenue well over $60 million dollars. 


“Sonia is a brilliant business executive and an amazing person. We had many good interactions and cooperated on various projects. I'm also excited about the line of work OppsSpot does for its client.”


Xiyao enjoys biking, traveling, gardening, while also cooking her famous (and gluten free) dumplings. While her actions in her industry speaks volumes, Xiayao says she can go almost days without speaking. 

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DR. WALTER RAWLE

As a veteran of GE Research, United Technologies, Ultra Electronics and General Dynamics, Dr. Rawle, epitomizes the accomplished strategist, technology leader, and business development professional. With his experience as an applied researcher, inventor, and classically educated engineer, including an earned doctorate in electrical engineering and over 35 years of outstanding business, research, program execution, and product development experience, he brings a unique skillset to any problem or challenge.  A unique combination of strong business and program management ability, in-depth analytical and theoretical foundation, and strong leadership, have delivered successful program capture and execution for a wide variety of commercial, government, and military customers. 

Dr. Rawle earned his PhD from the University of Manitoba in Computational Electromagnetics.

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JAN KNIGHT

Jan has over 20 years of experience in market and business research and likes to think of herself as ‘providing insight to entrepreneurs from start-ups to grown ups.’ Much of her work in market assessments, competitive profiling and industry research helps to shape business plans,  commercialization plans, business development, investor pitches and more. A domain generalist, she has a diverse set of clients and her research topics range from seaweed snacks to medical devices, insulation to software and just about everything in between. Technology clients are just one of her niches, especially those applying for SBIR grants. She also works with the National Center for Economic Gardening providing market research services to second stage companies throughout the U.S. Originally from England, Jan remains interested in global business and works with clients nationwide and internationally.

Jan holds a B.A. in Humanities/Renaissance Studies from U.C. Berkeley, and a M.A. in Information Resources & Library Science from the University of Arizona.

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BETH KANE

Tucson, Arizona


MA in Journalism, University of Arizona and Bachelor of Fine Arts, San Francisco Art Institute


Beth has more than 25 years of experience as a technical writer and editor, including eight years writing SBIR/STTR proposals and reports. Her job is to ensure that the submissions entered meet the many requirements of each government solicitation so that your application process will continue smoothly without any problems. Beth is able to edit for content clarity and readability, while offering suggestions and solutions, listening to what the client wants. 

“Small businesses are the backbone of the country, the innovators. It's gratifying to contribute to their success.”

You’ll most likely find Beth outdoors, whether it’s hiking, camping, and caring for native plant and wildlife species, or even mixing in some time for photography. But don’t take her calm demeanor lightly, she is a former Bay Area ice hockey player and if you find yourself on the ice, you better watch out.

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ED HACKETT

Ed is a commercial writer over 25 years’ experience providing communication solutions for clients of all sizes. Whether technical writing for software, hardware and mechanical systems, ghost writing blogs for industry tycoons, writing and editing grant proposals for highly technical innovations or creating marketing packages for complex medical devices for both domestic and international markets, Ed is a multi-talented marketer/writer/editor with a broad range of experience and an extensive knowledge base. A collaborative team member with a unique ability to understand and distill complex information into its most basic yet complete form, he brings clarity, cohesiveness and purpose to corporate and business messaging.  


Ed holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Composition and Rhetoric from the University of Arizona and an Associate of Science in Paramedicine.

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MICHELLE LOTT

B.S. in Chemistry from Troy State University, Certified Executive Leader in Regulatory Affairs from RAPS and Kellogg University.



Michelle Lott is the founder and principal of leanRAQA. She's supported 100+ companies with regulatory strategy, regulatory submissions, quality systems compliance, due diligence, technical support services – and grief counseling, because she says dealing with regulators can be a little emotionally draining at times. From the second you visit the leanRAQA website, you will get a sense for Michelle's fun going and uplifting personality, which is breath of fresh air to the business world. 

Michelle steps in for her clients, allowing them to delegate those draining tasks onto her so that they can focus on winning and being successful in the marketplace. Along with her responsibilities as a founder and overseeing her day to day assignments, Michelle served a four-year term on the FDA Device Good Manufacturing Practices Advisory Committee (DGMP).

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HARRISON MORENO

B.A. in Journalism from the University of Arizona

Harrison Moreno is a recent college graduate from right here in Tucson, Arizona and a part of OppsSpots social media and web content development. He has three years of social media and communication experiences, working for both small local organizations and the University of Arizona creating content for print, web and email. His journalistic background allows for him to create concise, correct and compelling content that helps tell a story. Harrison's ability to tell a story can be in a single tweet, and short paragraph, or a three-page news story. He has done it all and hopes to continue his career in the communication field.

"My father is a small business owner, and I believe that small businesses truly are the backbone of our country, and because of that, there are incredible, compelling, and uplifting stories to tell."

While he is a southern Arizona native at heart, Harrison's family also has roots in the northeastern part of the United States, so you can usually find him at home cheering on his favorite Boston sports team at any time of the year. 

If you want to learn more about our amazing team members, get in touch.