Education & Training

To accomplish our core mission, we offer a stepwise approach to help you with your journey to secure SBIR/STTR non-dilutive funding.  Use our Self-Assessment Tool to learn what will be required to be competitive in the programs.

Step 1: Attend a SBIR/STTR 101: An Overview of America’s Seed Fund (1 hour)
Step 2: Attend an Agency Deep Dive (3 hours) – Minnesota firms only. (DHHS/NSF/DOD/OTHER AGENCIES)
Step 3: Apply to the Minnesota SBIR/STTR Accelerator (2-3 hours)
Step 4: Coaching and Support to Apply for Funding (Expect to commit ~200 hours to this effort.)
Step 5: Continued Support (Free and Confidential)

Step 1: SBIR/STTR 101: An Overview of America’s Seed Fund: This is a one-hour overview offered on the 2nd Monday of each month. The objective is to share vital information to help you determine if the Programs are right for your startup or small business, and your early-stage product commercialization plan.

Step 2: Agency Deep Dives: After attending the SBIR/STTR 101 session, we offer three-hour deep dives for three agencies: the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Health and Human Services (NIH, FDA, and CDC). We offer ad hoc support for the remaining eight agencies. The deep dive sessions align with the agency due dates. The objective is to deliver detailed information to apply for funding. Read below for detailed descriptions for each of the agency deep dives.

DHHS SBIR/STTR Deep Dive: In this deep dive session, you will learn how to apply for National Institutes of Health SBIR/STTR funding. We will cover the Funding Opportunity Announcements (solicitations), the Program Descriptions and Topics, the Budget-Waved Topics, the SBIR/STTR Instructions, the required federal electronic registrations and much more. 

Upcoming Dates:
April 12, 2023, 9 AM – 12 PM
June 21, 2023, 9 AM – 12 PM
Register here

NSF SBIR/STTR Deep Dive: Access ~$2M for your transformative project with strong commercial potential. The NSF SBIR/STTR programs focus on transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial potential and/or societal benefit. The NSF funds high-risk, high-payoff projects across the spectrum of science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing.  Minnesota firms with a formal NSF invitation to apply for funding are automatically accepted in the Minnesota SBIR/STTR Accelerator.

Upcoming Date:
May 17, 10 – 11 AM
Register here 

DOD SBIR/STTR Deep Dive:  The objectives of the DoD SBIR/STTR programs include stimulating technological innovation, strengthening the role of small business in meeting DoD research and development needs, fostering and encouraging participation by minority and disadvantaged persons in technological innovation, and increasing the commercial application of DoD-supported research or research and development results. The DOD and its components are focused on technological solutions to support the warfighter and national security needs.

Check back on June 1, 2023 about the next deep dive.

Ad Hoc Deep Dives:   We deliver our support on a case-by-case basis. Click on the agency to connect their website.

Step 3: Minnesota SBIR/STTR Accelerator: After attending a deep dive session for your project, each firm must apply to our Accelerator to receive our multi-week free and confidential 1:1 expert coaching to apply for funding. Our Accelerator application is a five-question project pitch that is used to evaluate the readiness of your firm and the appropriateness of your project for the targeted agency.  After applying, we aim to reply to your application within one week.  Review our Accelerator application here.

Step 4: Accelerator Coaching and Support:  This is our bread and butter.  We deliver hands-on business and technical assistance to help you and your team apply for funding. Learn about our coaching and mentoring support here.

Step 5: Continued Support: We deliver continued business and technical assistance to help you navigate the federal research and development arena to reach successful commercialization of your innovation, which means bringing it to market for use by industry, consumers, or the federal government.  Read about our coaching and mentoring here.

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