SBIR STTR America's Seed Fund

The SBIR/STTR program is the nation’s largest source of early-stage non-dilutive R&D funding for small businesses. The National Science Foundation (NSF) alone invests up to $2M in seed funding for early-stage R&D, takes no equity, and offers a broad range of topics with SBIR/STTR Phase I awards of more than $250,000. Learn how to prepare a responsive proposal and position your company for success by applying to the SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab.

With a special focus* on supporting women-owned, small disadvantaged, and rural businesses, the Proposal Lab runs from January to June. It combines information from SBIR/STTR tutorials, best-in-industry proposal training, mentoring, expert proposal reviews, and hands-on guidance throughout the process of developing and submitting an NSF proposal. 

*We do not exclude any business from applying

The competitive application process closed on December 15, 2021.

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SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

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The SBIR Program

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated, and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.

The STTR Program

The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) is another program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development (R&D) arena. Central to the program is expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. The unique feature of the STTR program is the requirement for the small business to formally collaborate with a research institution. STTR's most important role is to bridge the gap between performance of basic science and commercialization resulting innovations.