SBIR STTR America's Seed Fund

If you have a technical innovation that you need seed money for, a National Science Foundation grant may help – and TEDCO can help you win it through our Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Proposal  Lab 2023 cohort.

We are selecting up to 25 companies to participate in a unique opportunity to join the next SBA FAST* SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab, and you can apply here starting on October 1, 2022. The application period closes on December 31, 2022 or sooner if all the seats are filled. The application process is competitive and companies are admitted on a first-come, first-serve basis if they qualify.

For the fifth year, TEDCO will help Maryland small businesses to develop and submit a proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a Phase I award up to $275,000. NSF awards the seed money without taking equity in your company — you retain full control over your team, the direction of your work, and your intellectual property.

The Proposal Lab runs from January 11, 2023 through June 30, 2023. We accept startups across nearly all technology areas and markets like artificial intelligence, energy, medical devices, robotics, semiconductors, and many more.

The SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab has more than doubled the national average first time Phase I award win rate, reaching 35% for Maryland companies. 

Over the past four years, TEDCO has supported 97 companies with $3.8M in awards.
According to the National Women’s Business Council, between 2013 and 2018, Woman Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) were 13.3% SBIR and 12.9% STTR Phase I awardees. As result of the Lab, WOSB participants have been awarded at a 58% first time award win rate.

If you apply and qualify, you will receive an invitation to a virtual interview.

Apply Here

*Federal And State Technology

 

Additional Resources:

SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab Fact Sheet

SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab Informational Webinar Presentation

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What is the SBA FAST SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab?

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are the Nation’s largest source of government early stage/high-risk funding for startups and small businesses.

The SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab combines guidance from SBIR tutorials, best-in-industry proposal training, Business Development and Technical mentorship, expert proposal reviews, and hands-on skills application throughout the program.

The Lab’s goal is to improve proposal quality, submissions, and win rate while building long-term capacity to win government and commercial bids. Any eligible Maryland small businesses can and should apply, but we especially encourage participation from women-owned, disadvantaged, and rural small businesses.

During the Lab, you will complete your NSF Phase I proposal while taking part in a series of training workshops conducted virtually from the Training Center at OST Global Solutions’ offices in Rockville, Maryland. Reviewers will conduct two substantive proposal color team reviews (Pink Team, Red Team) to give you actionable feedback. To increase Lab participants’ win probability, TEDCO will include information captured through research and meetings with government SBIR/STTR program managers focusing on what’s important to them, what wins, and what are the most effective preparation steps for the Lab participants.

The SBA FAST SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab will culminate in the cohort’s proposal submissions projected for end of June 2023, matching the Summer 2023 NSF proposal deadline (Phase I proposals).

Cost: This SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab fee is only $600 since it is funded by the FAST grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), TEDCO, and OST Global Solutions. The fee is payable upon acceptance into the program and is non-refundable after the end of the admissions period.

Apply

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SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab Workshop Topics, Reviews, and Dates

Workshop 1: SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab Kickoff, Outline Content, and Business Model (January 11, 2023)

  • Cohort Introductions.
  • Project Pitch and Proposal Status Check (review progress on early preparation efforts).
  • Primer on the NSF SBIR/STTR Program.
  • Overview of the SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab program.
  • How to win an NSF grant
  • Outline walk-through and content requirements.
  • Business Model Development
  • Time management.
  • Proposal Virtual Portals.
  • Expected deliverables and assignments prior to next workshop.

Workshop 2: Compliance, Brainstorming, Speed-Writing Process (February 1, 2023)

  • Proposal Status Check.
  • Foundations of writing faster and better.
  • The psychology of writing.
  • The correct writing process.
  • Group brainstorming on section content.
  • Individual brainstorming on section content.
  • Speed writing proposal sections.
  • Using tools to help write better and faster.
  • Getting Ready for the Pink Team ‘Pens Down’.

Workshop 3: Project Plan, Commercialization, and TEDCO Market Research Kiosks (February 22, 2023)

  • Proposal Status Check.
  • Foundations of writing faster and better.
  • The psychology of writing.
  • The correct writing process.
  • Group brainstorming on section content.
  • Individual brainstorming on section content.
  • Speed writing proposal sections.
  • Using tools to help write better and faster.
  • Getting Ready for the Pink Team ‘Pens Down’.

Pink Team Review (March 22, 2023)

Pink Team is a feedback mechanism on participant’s performance and proposal quality to date. The standard for Pink Team is that the proposal draft is 60% NSF-ready and is compliant.

Workshop 4: Budget Proposal and Graphics (April 5, 2023)

  • Proposal Status Check.
  • NSF Budget walk-through (hands-on).
  • Proposal graphics and visuals, and principles of the design.
  • Preparation for the Red Team ‘Pens Down’.

Red Team Review (May 24, 2023)

Red Team review provides feedback to participants on proposal quality. The standard is that the proposal is 90% NSF-ready; within 10% of the page count; and compliant and compelling.

Workshop 5: Editing and Desktop Publishing (DTP) (April 26, 2023)

  • Proposal status discussion.
  • Proposal editing.
  • Desktop publishing.
  • Assignments review.
  • Upcoming deliverable dates.

Workshop 6: Proposal Preparation for Submission and Submission (June 14, 2023)

  • Proposal Status Check.
  • Proposal wall reviews.
  • Loading proposals in the portal.
  • Hitting “submit”.
  • Submission Confirmation planning and process.

Our full-day workshops will combine just-in-time training with hands-on work.

Ready to Write a Winning Phase I NSF SBIR/STTR Proposal? 

Apply to Join our 2023 Cohort!