Okay, yea, it doesn’t have the same ring as Ghostbusters, but is still important.
As with any customer, relationship management and understanding of core problems is your path for funding. This is ALSO true for federal SBIR/STTR funding. Over recent years, participating agencies in this federal program have made almost herculean changes to their SBIR/STTR approach in order to foster more small business collaboration, invite in new program participants—and importantly—FUND COMMERCIALIZABLE TECHNOLOGIES! There may be no better example than funding coming from the AFWERX/Air Force program.
Right now (YES NOW!), the DoD has pre-release of SBIR and STTR topics (2021.1). Before January 14, 2021, this is YOUR ONLY TIME to learn more about the development criteria and needs for a competitive funding proposal. Who you gonna call? A Technical Point of Contact or TPOC. But before you pick up that phone or type that email, do a bit of homework.
- Read the pre-release criteria. There are nuggets of information sprinkled throughout a DoD pre-release including past research, key technical specifications, key opinion and research pieces. Armed with this information, you can do a good job to develop a competitive argument for your innovative approach.
- Get Your Googling On: (Is that what the kids are saying?) With the key pre-release insights or even with just the key topic words, you can get a fair amount of information off of google and other databases. What is your competitive approach and how can you speed commercialization.
- There is no ‘I’ in Fund: Innovation is a competitive, TEAM sport. In your research, have you found collaborating research institutions, small business partners, or big Prime contractors that augment your approach. This can also include collaborators within the DoD! In the end, the SBIR program is about commercialization. The stronger your team and partnerships, the more likely you will find funding.
- Can I see that? Pull your thoughts together in a nice document that showcases your technical capabilities, collaborators and potential fit for the DoD need. I recommend a Quad Chart or capabilities one-pager. When you get ready to prepare an email introduction, you have a great visual to ignite curiosity with your TPOC.
Unsure how to pull all this together? Who you gonna call? The CTC! Consider applying for the CTC SBIR READY- DOD program kicking off in March 2021. Letters of Intent are due February 11th! This 4+ session, PAID program will walk you through these critical assessment steps towards a competitive submission in June 2021. ONLY OPEN TO WISCONSIN BUSINESSES!
Talk to us today about SBIR READY and the micro-grant program to support your current and future innovation funding goals.