The SBIR/STTR Accelerator Application is used to determine if your company and project(s) are a good fit for federal research investments. We will evaluate whether your company and proposed project(s) show promise of commercial and/or societal impact and involve a level of technical risk that is required to be competitive in the SBIR/STTR programs.

The SBIR/STTR programs include technology topics and research areas across the spectrum of science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing important to state and national competitiveness goals.  Below are some key technology areas, but not limited to:

  • Aerospace
  • Agricultural processing
  • Biotechnology
  • Biological
  • Cellulosic ethanol
  • Chemistry g. Diagnostics
  • Energy efficiency and conservation
  • Renewal Energy
  • Environmental engineering
  • Food technology
  • Information technology
  • Materials science technology
  • Medical devices
  • Nanotechnology
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Telecommunications
  • Veterinary science


  • Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Department of Defense (DOD) 
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) 
  • Department of Energy (DOE); referral to the free DOE Phase 0 Technical Assistance Program.
  • General Cohorts; For agencies EPA, DOC, USDA, DOT, DHS, DoEdu and NASA


NIH SBIR/STTR Cohort: Early-stage research funding to support technology commercialization

Submit your Accelerator application by 5/31/2020.   

Online Course Dates:  June 4th, 18th, and 25th; 9 am – 5 pm.  Each training day will have at least three breaks during the day (am, lunch and pm). June 25th is set aside for additional information, if needed.  The cohort content includes:

  • NIH SBIR/STTR General Overview
  • Funding Opportunity Announcements
  • Electronic Registrations
  • Program Director Communications
  • Institute/Study Section Selection
  • Research Area – Topic Selection (Waived vs Non-Waived)
  • Clinical Trial vs Non-Clinical Trial
  • Planning the R&D Project
  • Proposal Requirements
  • Project Narrative
  • Project Summary
  • Specific Aims
  • Research Strategy
  • Biographical Sketches
  • Indirect Cost Rate Determination
  • MIN-Corps Overview (NSF I-Corps) – Value Proposition Online Course
  • U of M Tech Transfer Opportunities/Working with the U of M
  • Intellectual Property/SBIR Data Rights/Technical Data

DOD SBIR/STTR Cohort:   The new SBIR/STTR solicitations will be released on or about May 6, 2020.  Link to the topics: (in the upper right corner of the page, click on Topics.)

The DOD 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.  DOD coaching and advice include:

  • Prerequisite Requirement:
  • Program Description
  • Proposal Fundamentals
  • Phase I Proposal and Evaluation
  • Phase II Proposal and Evaluation
  • Phase II Enhancement
  • Commercialization Readiness Program
  • Contractual Requirements


Seeking NSF funding requires the submission of a Project Pitch before a firm is invited to submit a full proposal.  Based on your approved Project Pitch, your firm is automatically approved in our NSF SBIR/STTR Cohort.   As an invited NSF firm, we will provide individual and customized coaching to help you prepare a high-quality proposal.    Coaching and advice include:

  • NSF SBIR/STTR General Overview
  • Electronic Registrations
  • Biographical Sketches
  • Proposal Elements
  • Broader Impacts
  • Intellectual Merit
  • Project Description
  • Project Summary
  • The Elevator Pitch
  • The Commercial Opportunity
  • The Innovation
  • The Company/Team
  • The Technical Discussion/R&D Plan
  • Budget, Subaward Budgets, and Budget Justification
  • Indirect Cost Rate Determination
  • Collaborators and Other Affiliations
  • Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources
  • Market Validation Letters

General SBIR Cohort:  EPA, DOC, USDA, DOT, DHS, DoEdu and NASA, SBIR/STTR.  Coaching and advice are provided on an individual and customized basis depending on the targeted federal agency.  The coaching covers the technical and budget proposal, commercialization advice, and other requirements.

DOE:  Minnesota firms interested in DOE SBIR/STTR funding are strongly encouraged to apply to the free DOE SBIR/STTR Phase 0 Assistance program.  The Phase 0 Technical Assistance Program is aimed at increasing the number of high-quality SBIR/STTR proposals submitted by first-time applicants to the DOE by eligible small businesses in selected states.  Minnesota is an eligible state.  Dawnbreaker, a third-party provider to the DOE SBIR/STTR Program Office, delivers the assistance to eligible small businesses.