The SBIR/STTR programs are HIGHLY COMPETITIVE!!!!    The success rate in Phase I is between 15-20%.  In Phase II, the success rate increases to 35-40%.

With the success rates in mind and our limited resources, we use the  SBIR/STTR Accelerator Application to assess whether 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.  Being competitive is based on the scientific and technical merit of the proposed project and its commercialization pathway.

Key science and technology areas of interests (not a full list):

  • Agricultural biotechnology
  • Biologics
  • Biomarkers
  • Cellular therapeutics
  • Cleantech
  • Diagnostics and imaging
  • Food science and nutrition
  • Industrial biotechnology
  • Medical devices
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Research tools
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Chemical
  • Cleantech
  • Communications and networking
  • Design specifications
  • Industrial biotechnology
  • Materials
  • Nanotechnology
  • Photonics
  • Robotics
  • Semiconductors
  • Sensors and controls
  • Transportation

The 2020-2021 Cohort schedule starts in October with two informational sessions (NSF and NIH).  After an overview of the curriculum, each firm that wants to attend the Cohort, must apply and be approved in the SBIR/STTR Accelerator.

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) –4 Cohorts (October, January, April, and June)
  • Department of Defense(DOD) – 2 Cohorts (October and Spring)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) – 4 Cohorts (October, December, March, and June)
  • Department of Energy (DOE) – eligible firms are referred to the free DOE Phase 0 Technical Assistance Program.
  • General Cohorts – Agencies EPA, DOC, USDA, DOT, DHS, DoEdu, and NASA – assisted on an individualized basis.

National Science Foundation (NSF) SBIR/STTR Accelerator Cohort Informational Session: Tuesday, October 6th, 9 – 9:30 AM.  

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 Fiscal Year 2021 to fund high-risk, high-payoff projects across the spectrum of science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing.   The Cohort starts on October 13th.

Register today!

 National Institutes of Health (NIH) SBIR/STTR Accelerator Cohort Informational Session:  Thursday, October 8th, 9 – 9:30 AM. 

Access up to $4-5 million for your project with strong commercial potential.  NIH’s SBIR/STTR programs invest over 1 billion dollars into health and life science companies that are creating innovative technologies that align with NIH’s mission to improve health and save lives. A key objective is to translate promising technologies to the private sector and enable life-saving innovations to reach consumer markets. The Cohort starts on October 15th.

Register today!


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

The multi-week curriculum will provide you with the knowledge and tools to prepare and submit a high-quality research proposal.   All information sessions will be delivered online.  Following the formal education, we will then transition to preparing your proposal for submission to NIH.   The Cohort topics include:

  • 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

NSF SBIR/STTR Cohort:  The NSF requires the submission of a Project Pitch before a firm is invited to submit a full proposal.  We will assist you to prepare a successful pitch to receive the invitation.  Based on your approved NSF Project Pitch, your firm is automatically approved in the NSF SBIR/STTR Cohort to receive 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

DOD SBIR/STTR Cohort:   Closed.  The DOD will issue its Broad Agency Announcements in the fall.  The topics will not be known until the BAA’s pre=-solicitation is released.  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

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.