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).

What Clients Say

"Sonia Vohnout and her team at OppsSpot are true subject matter experts when it comes to federal funding opportunities. Their tenacity to help clients access opportunities is unmatched. Not only can they help companies find the right growth opportunity, they also have the unique expertise to help clients navigate application processes which can be highly complex.  I highly recommend OppsSpot." Coutney Williams, Co-Founder, Emagine Solutions Technology

THE OPPSSPOT TEAM

Get to Know Us

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Sonia Vohnout
Founder & President

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

Sonia has a B.S and M.S in Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona.

Chris Bridgewater
Sr. Business Consultant

Chris is experienced in business startup, strategy development and execution. He worked for 17 years with the US Government as an employee and contractor, along with 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
Sr. Business Consultant

Irene brings 30 years of experience with her to OppsSpot in 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.

Irene has a M.S in both Technology Commercialization and Information Science.

Peter Nestler
Sr. Business Consultant - Drug Discovery & Life Sciences

Peter's 25 plus years of experience in academic research and pharmaceutical lead discovery brings expert knowledge 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. 

Peter has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Johann-Wolfgang-von-Goethe University.

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Xiyao Zhang
Sr. Business Consultant 

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. 

Xiyao has a PhD in Physics from North Carolina State University. 

Walter Rawle
Sr. Business Consultant and Strategist

As a veteran of GE Research, United Technologies, Ultra Electronics and General Dynamics, Walter 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.

Walter has a PhD in Computational Electromagnetics from the University of Manitoba.

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Phyllis Hoffschwelle 
Sr. Business Consultant

Phyllis is a well-respected business leader and an expert in competitive market research assessment, technology assessments, and business strategies, particularly in working directly with startups. She has worked for various global technology companies such as Compaq Computers Corporation (HP) and Xerox Corporation, as well as a startups, and her own consulting businesses. She has managed diversified and global teams, consolidate and streamline projects and programs, and provide effective competitive market analysis/research, innovation/technology assessments, implementations, and processes. 

Phyllis has a Doctorate in Global Business, Leadership and Technology and an MBA from Walden University.

Tristan Simi
Business Consultant

Tristan Simi possess eight plus years of inter-disciplinary engineering, and research and development experience. He is an established grant writer, along with experience in research and synthesis of information from technical journals and data. He readily understands the complexities of working with Department of Defense funding platforms and the United States PTO and has performed in rolls of both procuring rant proposals as well as executing work plans detailed in SBIR proposals.

Tristan is currently pursing a degree in Optical Engineering from The University of Arizona.

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Jan Knight
Sr. Market Researcher 

Jan has over 20 years of experience in market and business research and likes to think that she ‘provides 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, and investor pitches 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.

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

Beth Kane
Sr. Technical Writer

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. 

Beth has a M.A. in Journalism from the  University of Arizona and B.A., San Francisco Art Institute.

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Ed Hackett
Sr. Technical Writer

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 and a collaborative team member.

Ed has a B.A. in English Composition and Rhetoric from the University of Arizona and A.S. in Paramedicine.

Michelle Lott
Sr. Regulatory Strategy Consultant

Michelle Lott has 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. 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. Michelle served a four-year term on the FDA Device Good Manufacturing Practices Advisory Committee.

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

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Edward Lundquist
Sr. Science Journalist and Writer

Edward Lundquist is a principal science writer at MCR Federal in McLean, Virginia, and chief engagement officer of Echo Bridge LLC. He brings excellent writing and communication skills with over 40 years of experience in both journalism and public relations. He served on active duty with the Navy as a surface warfare officer and public affairs officer. While being an IABC Fellow and accredited business communicator, he writes on naval, maritime, defense and security issues for international trade and professional journals. ​

Edward has a B.A. in Journalism from Marquette University and a M.A. in Journalism and Public Affairs from the American University.

Paul Lee
IP and Legal Strategist

Paul Lee brings to the OppsSpot team decades of experience in corporate finance with strong emphasis on energy, technology, manufacturing and drug industries. Through his legal practices, Paul has advised early-stage companies to Global 500 companies in several key business areas and aspects. Paul brings with him an Industry Mentor role from a completed program with the NSF I-Corps program for virtual coin stabilization and testing, while also being a co-founder of a company working on ag-tech including clean energy, water recovery, green chemistry and sustainability and also being a part of EPA and NSF SBIR Phase I and II grant awards winners.

Paul has a B.S. from SUNY Binghamton and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School

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Malhar Dave 
Software Development Intern

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Malhar is a Junior at the University of Arizona, majoring in Physics and Astronomy with a minor in data science. Malhar enjoys interpreting different datasets in diverse fields by presenting them in an understandable and beneficial way, through collaboration. He has experience in python, C++, and Git. He aims to improve his programming skills and earn industry experience by adapting himself to the needs of OppsSpot. 
Fun Fact: Malhar was born in Western India, spent most of his teenage years in Saudi Arabia and is now currently living in Arizona. All of these places are some of the hottest ones on Earth, so he hopes to get to live in some place cooler at some point in the future.

Olivia Quinn Pitcl
Software Engineering Intern

Olivia is a 3rd year Undergraduate at the University of Arizona pursuing a Bachelor's of Science in Physics and a minor in Computer Science. She brings a new perspective on helping clients through the SBIR/STTR process via first-hand small business and tech experience, efficient problem-solving, technical writing, and software development. She is working towards a career in Object-Oriented Programming and Web Development, specializing in identifying large-scale business problems and creating thoughtful, integrated tools to address them.
Fun Fact: Olivia has also been teaching young students for over six years in fields ranging from Algebra I to Quantum Computing!

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Cecilia is a Master of Science in Marketing student at the University of Arizona, and she holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Mexico. As a former manager with a background in customer service and marketing, she brings knowledge of marketing research, digital marketing strategy, and communications to our company. As part of building a career in Marketing, she is interested in the technology industry, specifically analytics, research, and digital.
Fun Fact: Cecilia is very proud of having trained more than 30 employees in her past jobs. She enjoys building relationships and helping others succeed.

Cecilia Montano 
Digital Marketing Intern

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