Dave Linz wins Tibbetts Award from the Small Business Administration

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dave Linz, Associate Director for the Center for Technology Commercialization, has earned a prestigious award from the U.S. Small Business Administration for achieving significant economic impact in advancing small technology businesses.

Linz was among five individuals and 37 small businesses honored during a White House ceremony Jan. 10 with Tibbetts Awards for driving innovation and creating jobs through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

Working for the CTC and its predecessor since 2005, Linz has provided technical, marketing, business planning, product development, and financing assistance to more than 600 entrepreneurs in technology and manufacturing businesses across Wisconsin.

“Dave Linz sits atop my list as the most effective and influential business educator/consultant I have had the pleasure to work with,” said Mark Lange, Executive Director of the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Division of Business & Entrepreneurship, which operates the CTC. “He has an easygoing nature and ability to connect with all types of people from scientists, aspiring business owners and CEOs to community stakeholders, chancellors and economic developers.”

“I am honored and gratified to have this recognition from my colleagues and the SBA,” Linz said. “I look at this as a CTC award and recognition for the whole team, present and past, for all their great work and contributions to Wisconsin’s tech businesses. It is my good fortune to work with such an amazing team at CTC, and our wonderful partners.”

The SBIR/STTR programs represent the nation’s largest source of early stage research and development funding for small businesses. The programs are administered by the SBA in collaboration with 11 federal agencies, who collectively supported more than $2.5 billion in funding.

Linz doesn’t just help companies craft successful SBIR/STTR funding proposals. He teaches scientists how to think like entrepreneurs through the use of Lean Startup best practices that validate business models and understand the market for their products.

Atif Hashmi, CEO of Thalchemy Corp., which develops sensor processing for smartphones, wearables and apps, credits Linz with helping define their customer and, prepare thoroughly for competitive grant applications and follow up that funding with a matching state grant. “Overall, Dave’s guidance has been instrumental in shaping this company.”

In his career, Linz has:

  • Generated nearly $23 million in capital investment.
  • Fostered over 60 new jobs in manufacturing, healthcare, IT, agriculture and energy by helping clients focus on customer needs.
  • Created SBIR Advance, a state matching fund that has provided 42 grants to Wisconsin SBIR/STTR award recipients.
  • Formed alliances with multiple Milwaukee business development organizations and helped bring the 2017 Health and Human Services SBIR Conference to Milwaukee.
  • Helped launch Ideadvance Seed Fund, combining early-stage grant funding with business mentoring to develop the innovative ideas and potential businesses from UW System faculty, staff and student entrepreneurs.

Most recently, Linz has worked with the CTC team to create a new program called SBIR Ready, which widens the pipeline for SBIR applications by training early-stage scientists and engineers, including those from underrepresented populations.

“He’s not only made it better in the state of Wisconsin. He’s improved the world because we now have those innovations in the marketplace,” said Lisa Johnson, CEO of Bioforward.

Linz earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Arizona and Master of Business Administration from Webster University.

About The Center for Technology Commercialization

The Center for Technology Commercialization is a unit in the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Division for Business and Entrepreneurship. CTC provides one-on-one expert consulting to early-stage emerging technology businesses throughout Wisconsin. With offices in Madison and Milwaukee but working all across the state, CTC has collaborated in acquiring more than $100 million in federal and other funding for clients.

About the Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and since 2012 has served as a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses.

About the Tibbetts Awards

The Tibbetts Award is named in honor of the late Roland Tibbetts, who was instrumental in developing the SBIR/STTR programs through a career-long dedication to small business entrepreneurship, applied research and technological breakthroughs. See all the SBA winners here:

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