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SBA Expo Seeks to Help Companies Creating New Technologies

By Colin McEvoy on September 9, 2016

The SBIR and STTR enable groundbreaking small business innovation.

The SBIR and STTR enable groundbreaking small business innovation.

An event being hosted this month by the U.S. Small Business Administration seeks to help provide resources and information to companies that are creating or refining new technologies, and that are interested in federal grants.

The SBIR/STTR Opportunity Expo will be held Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Pennovation Center in Philadelphia. SBIR stands for Small Business Innovation Research, and STTR stands for Small Business Technology Transfer.

The Expo will provide small businesses the opportunity to meet with NASA, USDA, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation to explore federal SBIR and STTR programs that provide federal grant funds for research and development.

“Helping high growth entrepreneurship take hold here in the U.S. is an important focus for SBA and the SBIR/STTR funding agencies,” said Michael T. Kane, Deputy Director, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Eastern Pennsylvania District. “Small businesses are the key to advancing America’s economy by bringing cutting-edge, high-impact technologies to the marketplace that improve health care, strengthen our military and protect the environment.”

Visit here for more information or to register for the SBIR/STTR Opportunity Expo.

Administered by the SBA, the SBIR/STTR programs are often referred to as “America’s seed fund.” They enable groundbreaking small business innovation in support of the eleven funding agencies.

They include the Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Transportation.

These agencies, including the SBA, put billions of dollars to work across America supporting 150,000 awards, totaling over $42 billion since the programs’ inception, according to the SBA.

“Small businesses often have difficulty competing with larger technology companies due to lack of capital for research and development work that is critical for moving products from the planning to deployment stages,”Kane said. “That’s where SBA and the SBIR/STTR program come in; ensuring engagement and access to non-dilutive capital for STEM-driven small businesses is key to generating private-public innovation.”

The SBIR/STTR programs catalyze and seed the creation of STEM-driven innovations in industries critical to the nation’s long-term competitiveness and growth ranging from nanotech to robotics, mobile communications, genetic therapies, clean energy, advanced weapons and space exploration.

Many of today’s technology giants – or their underlying technological components – received seed funding through SBIR or STTR awards via the eleven participating federal agencies, according to the SBA.

To be eligible for SBIR assistance, businesses must be organized for profit, be located in the United States, be at least 50 percent owned and controlled by U.S. citizens or permanent residents, have no more than 500 employees, and not be controlled by a venture capital firm, hedge fund, or private equity firm that owns a majority of stock.

SBIR is structured in phases. Phase 1 establishes the technical merit, feasibility and commercial potential of products or services and lasts for six months. Phase 2 supports continued R&D efforts and extends up to two years. Phase 3 enables the small businesses to commercialize products or services.

The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Network and members of the Pennsylvania Innovation Partnerships will be on hand at the expo to assist with additional resources.

To learn more about eligibility requirements and to explore open and future solicitations from agencies throughout the federal government to find SBIR funding opportunities for your small business, visit the SBA’s newly revamped gateway web portal.

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