18th round of SBIR Advance funding opens for high-tech small businesses

The Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) is offering a matching grant of up to $100,000 to provide additional assistance to companies in the process of completing a project in the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

This is the 18th round of SBIR Advance funding dedicated by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) since SBIR Advance began in 2014.

“Our SBIR Advance Phase I program is aimed at helping companies prepare solid commercialization plans for competitive SBIR/STTR Phase II proposals, said Brian Walsh, SBIR Advance program manager. “Since 2014, SBIR Advance has supported 122 awards. From FY 2014 to FY 2019 cohorts averaged over 50 percent success rate at winning Phase II SBIR/STTR awards, 10 percentage points better than the national average and totaling $6 million. The SBIR Advance Phase II program, established in 2019, is focused on helping companies gain the traction needed to attract investors and strategic partners.”

Deadlines are quickly approaching:

To be eligible, companies must have an SBIR/STTR project in either Phase I or Phase II of funding. All companies must have a significant presence in Wisconsin to be considered for the grant. Funds can be used for business and market development, customer validation, intellectual property work or other areas needed to speed product commercialization.

Applicants should note these important dates:

  • Nov. 26, 2021: Companies chosen for funding will be notified by this time.
  • Jan. 6, 2022: Phase I match awardees must be prepared to start the Lean Startup Program. The course runs through early April 2022 and is administered by the CTC. It teaches companies how to incorporate their technologies into a validated business model and defines the best possible target markets.

“The first year of leading the program is now under my belt, and I’m ready to implement a few upgrades this round,” Walsh said. “Changes include customized makeup of our teaching team based on industry of awardees and featuring SBIR program managers to speak on how to write winning Phase II proposals for their respective agencies. To our next round of teams – we can’t wait to work with you and help you achieve key milestones in your path to commercialization!”

For more details on the SBIR Advance program and current eligibility requirements, contact Walsh at .

SBIR Advance is part of a Start-Seed-Scale (S3) initiative WEDC is pursuing with the help of the UW System and other business leaders throughout the state to remove barriers to high-tech commercialization. Under the S3 umbrella, WEDC and its economic development partners are implementing financial and operational assistance programs designed specifically to address Wisconsin’s business startup and seed-funding challenges. One such initiative — also a collaborative effort between WEDC and the UW System — is the Ideadvance Seed Fund, also managed by the CTC. Selected SBIR Advance participants undergo Lean Startup training to assist with their SBIR Phase II applications.

About Center for Technology Commercialization

The Center for Technology Commercialization is part of the University of Wisconsin System’s Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship. CTC provides one-on-one expert consulting to early-stage emerging technology businesses throughout Wisconsin. CTC has collaborated in acquiring more than $100 million in federal and other funding for clients. Learn more at; follow @WisconsinCTC on Twitter.

About Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Learn more at; follow @WEDCNews on Twitter.