Sunday, June 29, 2014

How Your Startup Can Get Money from the US Government

The United States Small Business Association (SBA) has a program called Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) to help startups with research. According to the SBIR website, "Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs."

Three Phases

There are three phases with this program:
  1. Phase I. The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of the proposed R/R&D efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small business awardee organization prior to providing further Federal support in Phase II. SBIR Phase I awards normally do not exceed $150,000 total costs for 6 months.
  2. Phase II. The objective of Phase II is to continue the R/R&D efforts initiated in Phase I. Funding is based on the results achieved in Phase I and the scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of the project proposed in Phase II. Only Phase I awardees are eligible for a Phase II award. SBIR Phase II awards normally do not exceed $1,000,000 total costs for 2 years.
  3. Phase III. The objective of Phase III, where appropriate, is for the small business to pursue commercialization objectives resulting from the Phase I/II R/R&D activities. The SBIR program does not fund Phase III. Some Federal agencies, Phase III may involve follow-on non-SBIR funded R&D or production contracts for products, processes or services intended for use by the U.S. Government.
 Determine if You are Eligible

Of course, you must be a business based in the United State. Here are the primary rules of eligibility:
  1. Organized for profit, with a place of business located in the United States;
  2. More than 50 percent owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States, or by another for-profit business concern that is more than 50% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States; and
  3. No more than 500 employees, including affiliates
  4. For awards from agencies using the authority under 15 U.S.C. 638(dd)(1), an awardee may be owned and controlled by more than one VC, hedge fund, or private equity firm so long as no one such firm owns a majority of the stock.
  5. Phase I awardees with multiple prior awards must meet the benchmark requirements for progress toward commercialization. 

Some of the companies that were recipients recently include:
Actuated Medical, Inc. – Bellefonte, PA
Adventium Enterprises, LLC dba Adventium Labs – Minneapolis, MN
ChemImage Sensor Systems (CISS) – Pittsburgh, PA
Corvid Technologies – Mooresville, NC
Eldertide LLC – Dresden, ME
Exquadrum, Inc. – Adelanto, CA
Geocent, LLC – New Orleans, LA
HemoShear, LLC – Charlottesville, VA
Inrad Optics – Northvale, NJ
IRIS Media, Inc., dba IRIS Educational Media – Eugene, OR
Mainstream Engineering – Rockledge, FL
NanoMech, Inc. – Springdale, AR
Novan, Inc. – Durham, NC
Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (dba as Pacific Biosciences) – Menlo Park, CA
Pacific Engineering, Inc. – Roca, NE
Parion Sciences – Durham, NC
QorTek, Inc. – Williamsport, PA
Realtime Technologies, Inc. – Royal Oak, MI
Robotic Research, LLC – Gaithersburg, MD
Sentient Corporation – Buffalo, NY
STAR Cryoelectronics, LLC – Santa Fe, NM
Structural Composites, Inc.  – W Melbourne, FL
Tactus Technologies – Akron, NY

For more information, you can go to the SBIR website

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