Monday, May 26, 2008

Money for High-Tech Businesses

One real source of grant money are the STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer Program) and SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) programs at the Small Business Administration, which provide funding for the cost of developing technology and bringing it to market for small businesses and not-for-profit research partners in technology development. In STTR, five federal departments –Defense, NASA, National Science Foundation, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Energy—are required to reserve a part of their research and development budgets to small businesses in partnership with nonprofits or research institutions. These are highly competitive grants, and have a three part cycle. In phase I, grants of up to $100,000 are given to explore the feasibility of developing a technology for market. In phase II, some Phase I winners are further selected to receive grants of up to $750,000 to develop the technology, and further check its feasibility. The third phase involves no federal money, and the organization must find private funding. The SBA website provides more information.
In the SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program, eleven federal agencies put out requests for proposals (RFPs), for research and development of a technology of their choice, and small for-profits can compete for those grants. It also has three stages in which the small business gradually becomes independent of federal funding and continues its product development with private funding sources. For more information see the website.
Each agency puts out solicitations and announcements of what type of technology they want to develop, which is available a a master site.

Check out each department's announcement and solicitation to see if there is a program that you could develop.

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