Have you ever struggled to find funding for your technology idea, or to move your tech company to the next stage in development and commercialization? The SBIR/STTR programs annually provide $2.5 billion in funding to small advanced technology firms to spur new technological discoveries and facilitate the commercialization of innovations. Together they represent America’s Largest Technology Seed Fund.

To date, there have been over $65 million awarded to Idaho small tech businesses through over 290 awards. Awards are spread out throughout the state of Idaho, from Sandpoint, to Meridian, to Island Park. The vast majority of companies receiving SBIR/STTR awards have less than 25 employees.

SBIR STTR logoThrough a competitive awards-based program, SBIR/STTR 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.

The mission of the SBIR program is to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of Federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy.

The program’s goals are four-fold:

  • Stimulate technological innovation.
  • Meet Federal research and development needs.
  • Foster and encourage participation in innovation and entrepreneurship by socially and economically disadvantaged persons.
  • Increase private-sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development funding.

There are 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR/STTR program. They include:

The SBIR Program is structured in three phases:

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.

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.

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. For some Federal agencies who participate in Phase III, it may involve follow-up on non-SBIR funded R&D or production contracts for products, processes, or services intended for use by the U.S. Government.

Your company is eligible for an SBIR award as long as:

  • Your company is organized as a for-profit business located in the U.S.
  • Have 500 employees or less, including affiliates
  • Your Principle Investigator’s primary employment is with the small business at the time of project
  • Your company is at least 51% U.S.-owned
  • Some addition requirements must be met for an STTR award.

The SBIR/STTR program has proven to be an effective source of funding for tech startups and small tech businesses.

To find out more about these programs, contact either:

Paul Cooperrider – paulcooperrider@boisestate.edu

Rick Ritter – rick@newventureslab.com





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