Building a Compelling Federal Grant Submission

The "Biggest VC in America" Takes 0% Equity

Every year the Federal Government invests billions of dollars in Research and Development. The primary investments are made in the private sector and academic deeptech projects.

The biggest myth surrounding Federal funding is that the money goes to military technologies. That may have been true in the very distant past but today the agencies including the Dept. of Defense invest heavily in AI, Machine Learning, Robotics, Autonomous Vehicles, 5G, IoT, Energy tech, Advanced Materials, Quantum, and much more.


Federal funding for R&D is dilution-free. The agencies take 0% equity and have no influence over your board or how you run your company.


The funding agency often makes an investment in your company because they want to become your client. In fact, Federal funding is a primary mechanism for agencies to find key technologies. What this means to you is the following: Your dilutive free investment may come with tier 1 customers such as NASA, USAF, and many other U.S. Federal Agencies.


With the stamp of approval from the Federal government, raising capital from the private sector becomes much easier. Federal funding is the gold-standard of approval, and studies show that companies backed by the Federal government win big investments following winning grants from Federal agencies. Over the last few decades, thousands of technologies and companies were developed with the support of U.S. grants and R&D contracts. The story of the internet, GPS, and Siri are well known, however not many know that Apple, Qualcomm, Biogen as well as many other companies received an early boost with Federal funding.  And investors take notice.

Markets of Interest


• Autonomous Systems
• Communication Systems
• Electronic Systems
• Robotics
• Sensor Systems
• Software Systems
• Transportation
• UAVs
• Security Systems
• MEMS & Microsystems
• Advanced Materials


• Threat Assessment
• Offensive Tools
• Situational Awareness
• Digital Forensics
• Command/Control Tools
• Data Protection
• Data Analytics & Tools
• Data Visualization
• AI & Machine Learning
• Informatics, Modeling & Simulation
• Storage & Access Solutions


• Grid Solutions
• Power Generation
• Energy Storage
• Transportation
• Buildings & Bases
• Efficiency Solutions
• Soldier Technologies
• Waste & Water
• Energy Security
• Advanced Materials

Other Topics of Interest

• Simulation, Training & Readiness
• VR, AR, MR & 360
• Medical, Health & Biotech
• Human-Machine Interfaces
• Wearables & Embedded Devices
• Sensors, IoT, Data Sharing

• AI, Big Data, Analytics

• Cyber Security & Resilience

• Critical Infrastructure

• Energy, Efficiency, Grid

• Mobility & Transportation

• Mega/Smart Cities, Urban Warfare

• Trusted Electronics/ Communication

• Drones, Autonomous/Morphing Systems
• Space Technologies
• Nanotech, Advanced Materials
• 3D Printing, Advanced Manufacturing
• Logistics & Supply Chain


Federal Agencies

Successful campaigns to receive federal R&D funding typically include 3 stages

Stage I - Strategic Assessment

Once a company has a technological roadmap in mind, the company begins searching for relevant funding opportunities from within the 25 different federal agencies. The goal of this stage is to find multiple relevant grant opportunities that match the company’s vision. At the end of this step the company prioritizes the different grants and begins a multi-submission approach. This means the company will systematically apply to each opportunity.

Stage II - Initial Submissions

The company begins the process of building the first application. This starts with getting registered to the correcting government portals which make a company eligible to receive funding. Next a company must build a budget for R&D that takes into consideration payroll, subcontractors, materials & instruments, facilities, and administration. After that, the researchers write a pre-proposal or full (depending on the type of grant) with key milestones and highlighting past achievements of the company and staff. The key to presenting your technology is to connect the audience with the narrative behind the technology while identifying relatable pain-points being solved.

Stage III - Subsequent Submissions and Key Edits

Usually by the beginning of the 3rd stage the company should receive feedback from the federal agencies and maybe even receive their first grant award. The feedback can be used to improve the following submissions and strengthen the proposal. The goal of this stage is to apply to the remaining opportunities identified in the Strategic Assessment as well as any new opportunities that become discovered. In this stage submissions come out quicker, are more refined, and typically have a higher chance of success.

Your Opportunities

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Small Business Research and Development grants typically award around $150,000 for SBIR/STTR Phase I awards and up to $2 million for SBIR/STTR Phase II awards.

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Large Scale Funding (BAAs)

Multidisciplinary grants and contracts available for all stages of development, from proof-of-concept through commercialization, with budgets of up to $16 million per project.