The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, also known as America's Seed Fund, are one of the largest sources of early-stage capital for technology commercialization in the United States (US). These programs allow US-owned and operated small businesses to engage in federal research and development that has a strong potential for commercialization. Eleven federal agencies invest nearly $4B annually into new ideas, concepts, and projects from the laboratory to the marketplace to strengthen America's economy, health, and security. The programs accelerate research into market opportunities and societal benefits by supporting high-tech small businesses and collaborations between academia and industry. SBIR/STTR funding offers non-dilutive funding for game changing, disruptive, cutting edge science and technology that has the potential for commercialization. We encourage you to review the Tutorials to become better acquainted with the programs. Learn more about America’s Seed Fund.
The Minnesota SBIR/STTR Accelerator™ facilitates the commercialization of deep tech ideas, concepts, and projects by leveraging federal research and development funding to small businesses in collaboration with government, industry, and academia. The Accelerator is the Governor’s designated resource to deliver confidential business and technical assistance to Minnesota firms to access federal SBIR/STTR investments. Since 2014, the Accelerator’s support has facilitated ~$40M in 50 companies in medical, defense, energy, biotech, etc. Learn more about the Accelerator. Read testimonials.
Do you have more questions?
We hold clinic hours on each Monday (excluding holidays) to answer your questions. During this call, we will discuss the programs to help you determine if your project is a good fit with one of the federal agencies. It will also include a discussion about the commercialization strategy. To schedule a Zoom meeting, click here. After this call, you will be able to determine your fit with the programs and the Accelerator.
In the Accelerator, we offer 10 cohorts a year that provides a deep dive educational sessions and one-on-one support. The cohorts are focused on three federal agencies (Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation) due to their overall budgets and alignment with Minnesota's innovation economy. The time and effort to prepare a high-quality proposal ranges from 150-200 hours. See the Cohort calendar for upcoming dates.
National Science Foundation
Next Cohort: August 3 – December 3, 2021. Up to 10 participants.
Future Cohort Dates: December 2021, and March and June 2022.
Access $1.75M 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 has more than $250M in the Fiscal Year 2021 to fund high-risk, high-payoff projects across the spectrum of science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing. The NSF requires the submission of an NSF Project Pitch before a firm is invited to submit a full proposal. Following the information session, all interested innovators, entrepreneurs and small businesses must apply to the Accelerator to receive our expert advice and guidance to prepare a competitive proposal. Learn more about the Cohort.
National Institutes of Health
Next Cohort: September 16, 2021 – January 5, 2022. Up to 10 participants.
Future Cohort Dates: January, April, and July 2022.
Access up to $4-5 million for your project with strong commercial potential. The National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (NIH, FDA, and CDC) SBIR/STTR programs invest over 1 billion dollars into health and life science companies that are creating innovative technologies that align with NIH mission to improve health and save lives. Following the information session, all interested innovators, entrepreneurs and small businesses must apply to the Accelerator to receive our expert advice and guidance to prepare a competitive proposal. Learn more about the Cohort.
Department of Defense
Next Cohort: Begins in October after the formal release of the BAA 21.3 and BAA 21.C announcements. Up to 10 participants.
The Department of Defense and its components (Army, Navy, Air Force, etc.) seeks small high technology firms with the R&D capabilities, internal and external, to deliver a technologically advanced solution for their expressed need. It is vitally important to understand this landscape before investing time and money to seek funding. Following the information session, all interested innovators, entrepreneurs and small businesses must apply to the Accelerator to receive our expert advice and guidance to prepare a competitive proposal. Learn more about the Cohort.
This cohort is focused on these agencies: DOE, USDA, EPA, DOT, DHS, DoEdu, DOC. We assist firms targeting these agencies at any time.
Note: Dates subject to change.
Pat Dillon, MBA has worked with hundreds of small businesses to secure millions of dollars during her 30 years of experience in the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Programs. In current role as founder and director of the Minnesota SBIR/STTR Accelerator, she helps to facilitate commercialization of deep tech ideas, concepts, and projects by leveraging federal research and development investments. Pat collaborates closely with the University of Minnesota, Technology Commercialization Office, and is an advisory board member with the Technological Leadership Institute, among other offices. Pat also collaborates with the Mayo Clinic, Office of Entrepreneurship, to support its startups, and this year will launch the first-ever graduate course called Accelerating SBIR/STTR Funding for Healthcare Innovations. Pat was awarded the prestigious Small Business Administration (SBA) Tibbetts Award, and has been a reviewer for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the United States Department of Agriculture. Pat is a 2001 recipient of the City Business’ 25 Most Innovative Woman Award (now the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal). Pat is a retired United States Navy Commander combat veteran with 40 years of service. Pat earned an MBA and BS from Winona State University, Winona, MN.
Support Provided by:
The Accelerator 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 hosted by the Minnesota Technology Association.