Why is SBIR/STTR funding important to Minnesota’s economy?   SBIR/STTR funding helps startups and small businesses transform their high risk, high-impact technologies into marketable products and services that solve problems.

Why does the Minnesota SBIR/STTR Accelerator™ exist?  We know how complex and difficult it is to navigate the federal R&D arena.  We have decades of demonstrated knowledge and connections across all 11 agencies to make the journey less stressful for new applicants.  We spend most of our time working with startups and small businesses that are pursuing funding from the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Health and Human Services (NIH, FDA, CDC) (DHHS), and the National Science Foundation  (NSF).

How we help startups and small businesses to navigate the complex and competitive federal R&D environment?  

  • Getting Started – We help you think strategically about how to leverage these programs to achieve your goals. Keep in mind, this is not a destination, it is a journey.
  • Targeted Agency and Topic Identification – We help you determine the best agencies to target for your early-stage product development efforts.
  • Powerful People Connections – We engage with federal agency leaders, qualified consultants, and professionals who deliver value-added advice and guidance to startups and existing firms.
  • Pre-Submission Proposal Reviews – We provide direct and unvarnished review of proposals at no cost to you.
  • Pre-Submission Budget Reviews – We provide direct feedback on your proposed budget based on agency rules and requirements.  We aim to maximize the amount of funding you can request from the targeted agency.
  • Commercialization Plan Reviews – We provide direct and unvarnished review and critique of your commercialization plan based on the agency rules, requirements and policies.
  • Indirect Cost Rate Determination – We engage qualified experts, local and national, who can help you determine your indirect cost rate. This is a really important number, so take the time to determine this rate.
  • Pre-Award and Post-Award Assistance – We help you understand the world of federal R&D grant and contract funding. The federal R&D landscape is full of rules, regulations, policies, etc.  We provide referrals to qualified consultants, accountants, government contract attorneys, and others to help you demystify this environment.

The Minnesota innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem is vibrant with a wide array of resources to gain traction for your technology commercialization goals and objectives. We collaborate with government and academia to support startups and existing firms in the federal R&D arena. Here are some resources in the ecosystem:

  • SciTech Internship Program – We direct many of our clients to the SciTech Internship Program to hire vetted STEM students (undergraduate and graduate).  The company must first register with SciTech before hiring any students.  Up to $2,500 per student.
  • Business Innovation Grants – Up to $35,000.
  • SBIR/STTR Matching Grant – These grants are for first time Phase I and Phase II awardees and will be based on sliding scale of their Federal award (up to $35,000 for Phase I awards and up to $50,000 for Phase II awards).
  • Minnesota Venture Builders offer critical educational content for startups and existing companies to commercialize a new product, service, or process.  We encourage you to review their information for video presentations from the experts.
  • Minnesota Exchange  – The Minnesota Exchange will be the state’s software platform to connect startup founders, mentors, advisors, investors, and subject matter experts (SMEs). This initiative puts an emphasis on bringing the right stakeholders together at the right time for quality conversations to accelerate progress and deepen relationships

Financial Sponsors:

The Minnesota SBIR/STTR 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.

Small Business Administration’s Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) Program is a competitive program designed to strengthen the technological competitiveness of small businesses. It improves the participation of small technology firms in the innovation and commercialization of new technology, thereby helping keep the United States on the cutting edge of research and development in science and technology. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa may receive funding for an array of services (e.g., outreach and technical assistance) in support of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.