• Daniella Jakubowitz

Grants for Small Businesses

Updated: Apr 7

The Small Business Innovation Research grant program, run by the Small Business Agency (SBA) invests greatly in small U.S. businesses to the tune of roughly $2.5 Billion annually.


The SBA Office of Technology has two R&D funding programs:

  1. SBIR - Small Business Innovation Research program

  2. STTR- Small Business Technology Transfer program


Each year, eleven federal departments and agencies are required by SBA to reserve a portion of their R&D funds for award to small high-tech business.

  • Department of Agriculture

  • Department of Commerce

  • Department of Defense

  • Department of Education

  • Department of Energy

  • Department of Health and Human Services

  • Department of Homeland Security

  • Department of Transportation

  • Environmental Protection Agency

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  • National Science Foundation

What are the agencies looking to fund?


These agencies are looking to make a seed investment in order for the companies to complete a short proof-of-concept trial which, upon success, is met with larger follow-on funding. The criteria the agencies are looking for can be summed up with three questions:

  • Is the tech revolutionary?

  • Is the R&D team a strong and capable research team?

  • Does the end product have a market now?


Qualifying for SBIR

SBIR Qualifications:

Small businesses must meet certain eligibility criteria to participate in the SBIR program.

  • American-owned and independently operated

  • For-profit

  • Principal researcher employed by business

  • Company size limited to 500 employees


Phase I and II:

Phase Is are meant to support the exploration of the technical merit or feasibility of an idea or technology. Phase I awards are typically a total of $150,000 in funding, which is meant to cover 6 months to a year worth of costs.


Phase II are more lucrative typically ranging around $1 million per project and are meant to lead to a full on prototype.


There is also an option for commercialization assistance called Phase III. Phase III are funding from another mechanism, outside of the SBIR program and draw on other federal mechanisms such as BAAs or private investors.

STTR

STTR - Small Business Technology Transfer Program program expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development arena. Central to the program is expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small business and the nation’s premier nonprofit research institutions.

Each year, five federal departments and agencies are required by STTR to reserve a portion of their R&D funds for award to small business/nonprofit research institution partnerships:

  • Department of Defense

  • Department of Energy

  • Department of Health and Human Services

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  • National Science Foundation


STTR Qualifications:

Small businesses must meet certain eligibility criteria to participate in the STTR Program:

  • American-owned and independently operated For-profit

  • Principal researcher need not be employed by small business

  • Company size limited to 500 employees (No size limit for nonprofit research institution)

  • The nonprofit research institution must also meet certain eligibility criteria.

  • Located in the US

  • Meet one of three definitions:

  1. Nonprofit college or university

  2. Domestic nonprofit research organization

  3. Federally funded R&D center (FFRDC)

Thanks for reading.


To learn more email: daniella@eaglepointfunding.com

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