What is SBIR/STTR and why should you care?
It's Funding That Doesn't Cost Equity
"Non-dilutive" funding that can help entrepreneurs provide proof of concept for additional angel or venture capital funding. Think of it as bridge funding to get you through the "valley of death" where the risk is still too high for angels and VCs.
Have you heard of Qualcomm, Genentech, Symantec, Z Corp & iRobot? All received early-stage funding for technological breakthroughs like 3D printing, the Sonicare toothbrush and LASIK technology from a program called SBIR/STTR: Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer, the largest source of non-dilutive funding for innovative small companies in the United States.
SBIR Aligns Well With Angel Investors & VCs
SBIR should not be viewed as competition by any of the valued members of the tech ecosystem. In fact, the exact opposite is true: SBIR is a funding tool that should be embraced by the ecosystem because it accelerates development of promising technology without diluting the equity of future investors.
SBIR is Not Just for the Military
Eleven federal agencies have SBIR budgets and are very interested in funding development of mobile apps, gaming software, social media, cyber security, medical devices and a wide range of other products. If it's cutting edge technology, one of these agencies is probably interested!
You Don't Lose Your Intellectual Property Rights
This is not an investment in the traditional sense where you are required to give up something in exchange for funding. The objective is to accelerate the product development so agencies can benefit from having the very latest cutting edge technology.
Commericialization Assistance is Available at No Cost
Awardees receive mentoring from highly skilled experts who have been trained to help entrepreneurs clear the path for commercialization.
It's Not the Bureaucratic Red Tape You Might Expect
Time is money. The leaders of this program understand that if they want to harness the best of American innovation they need to make it as easy as possible for entrepreneurs to apply for funding, demonstrate value and accelerate product development. Agencies are motivated to move quickly.
It's a $2.3 BILLION Program!
Thousands of awards are made annually--up to $1.5M per award. About 1/3 of them go to new tech startups. This is simply too much "no-cost" money to ignore.