The Minnesota SBIR/STTR Office (MNSBIR), hosted by the Minnesota Technology Association, was awarded a competitive grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to further enhance MNSBIR’s success in stimulating economic growth throughout the state. MNSBIR received $125,000 as one of 24 awards granted by the SBA under the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program. The focus of MNSBIR is to help small businesses win government Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding to bring new products, services and processes through the stages of technology risks.

Along with funding, FAST helps to grow economic development by providing candidates with outreach, training, business assistance and mentoring. The support FAST provides is designed to help research and development focused small businesses compete in the SBIR/STTR Programs—which for 2020 will have more than $4 billion in early-stage seed capital to be awarded to startups and existing high-tech small businesses.

Through the support of FAST, MNSBIR will be working with the University of Minnesota, Technology Commercialization and the Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship; the Mayo Clinic, Office of Entrepreneurship; the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Launch Minnesota.

With the FAST grant, MNSBIR will continue to deliver its SBIR/STTR Accelerator to increase the number of proposals submitted and awarded to Minnesota firms. The SBIR/STTR Accelerator offers business and technical assistance to help firms prepare and submit high quality research proposals to any one of the 11 federal agencies. There will be 10 Accelerator cohorts to assist qualifying firms from the SBIR/STTR solicitation issuance through proposal submission to the award, and beyond. Approximately 50-75 companies will be selected to participate in the SBIR/STTR Accelerator throughout the year. The Accelerator is primarily focused on the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense. Rural, women-owned, and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs that have never won an SBIR/STTR are especially encouraged to apply.

“MNSBIR is committed to providing critical resources and opportunities to Minnesota’s diverse and competitive start-up ecosystem,” said Pat Dillon, MNSBIR director. Under Dillon’s leadership, MNSBIR has been consistently funded for seven years since its inception in 2014.  MNSBIR has assisted more than 45 companies to win nearly $30M in SBIR/STTR funding to drive innovation and commercialization of technology into novel products, services or processes for social and economic gain.

The FAST award provides organizations with one year of funding to assist in implementing statewide programs to increase the number of proposals and awards and prepare awardees for success beyond the program.

To be awarded, candidates had to be endorsed by their state governor as only one proposal was accepted from each state or territory. Proposals were evaluated by panels of Federal reviewers led by the SBA.

The Minnesota SBIR/STTR Assistance Office (MNSBIR) is the Governor’s resource to deliver free, confidential business and technical assistance to startups and small businesses to access non-dilutive funding from the SBIR/STTR programs. MNSBIR launched the SBIR/STTR Accelerator to assist qualifying startups and small businesses to successfully apply to secure funding for their innovative idea, concept or project with strong commercial potential. MNSBIR received financial support from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the University of Minnesota, Venture Center, and Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Mayo Clinic, Office of Entrepreneurship, and the Minnesota Technology Association. Additional information can be found at

SBA coordinates the SBIR/STTR programs, also known as America’s Seed Fund, which each year provides more than $3.7 billion in early stage seed capital totaling over 5,000 awards to small businesses. Eleven participating federal government agencies announce funding opportunities as either grants or contracts to address their research and development needs. Companies supported by the SBIR/STTR programs often generate some of the most important breakthroughs each year in the U.S.  Additional information about the programs, as well as past and current topics can be found at

About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit