America’s Seed Fund

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs

The SBIR/STTR Programs award non-dilutive funding to develop your technology and chart a path toward commercialization. The federal government invests in your solution and gives you the freedom to run your business according to your vision. The goal of any successful SBIR/STTR project is the commercialization of your innovation, which means bringing it to market for use by industry, consumers, or the federal government.

SBIR/STTR investments

Since 2014, MNSBIR, Inc. has facilitated and catalyzed $63M of SBIR/STTR investments for more than 93 startups and small businesses

MNSBIR, Inc. is at the intersection of government, industry, and academia to support startups and small businesses to secure funding from America’s Seed Fund. We are a private, independent, non-profit organization endorsed by the Governor (per our Small Business Administration grant) to deliver free and confidential 1:1 business and technical assistance that is individualized and customized to meet the agency requirements, either the SBIR or STTR program, the project scope of work, and the team that makes sense for your business.  Our knowledge, experience, relationships, and connections are valuable to firms competing the programs. We know first-hand how complex and difficult it is to navigate the federal R&D arena. With decades of demonstrated experience across the 11 participating federal agencies, we make the journey less stressful for qualifying firms to navigate this competitive and complex environment.

To accomplish our core mission, we offer a stepwise education and coaching approach to help you with your journey to secure SBIR/STTR non-dilutive funding.  Use this 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)

    Register Here.

  • 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: Accelerator Coaching and Support to apply for funding (Our support is up to 30 hours, depending on the project, the agency, the team, etc.)
  • Step 5: Continued Support


Funding Opportunities

SBIR/STTR Funding Portal: Click here.

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. 


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.


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.


Other Agencies:  We deliver our support on a case-by-case basis. Click on the agency to connect their website.



Catalyst Program

The Catalyst Program aims to bridge the gap between research and practical application, ensuring that innovative technologies or inventions have a real-world impact and are financially viable. It involves strategic planning, business development, marketing, and intellectual property management to successfully introduce the technology to the market.

Catalyst submission form here.

Continued Support

We deliver continued business and technical assistance to help you navigate the federal research and development arena to reach the successful commercialization of your innovation, which means bringing it to market for use by industry, consumers, or the federal government. 


Financial Sponsors

MNSBIR, Inc. is funded in part through a Federal and State Technology Partnership Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, a grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the University of Minnesota, Technology Commercialization, and the Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship, the Mayo Clinic, Office of Entrepreneurship, and in-kind support from Launch Minnesota.