Eligibility widens for SBIR Advance: High-tech small businesses can apply for matching grants up to $100,000

MADISON – 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 13th round of SBIR Advance funding dedicated by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) since SBIR Advance began in 2014.

“SBIR Advance has been so successful that we want to enable even more companies to push past the ‘valley of death’ that is the jump from SBIR funding to commercialization. With broader eligibility and more Phase 2 match funding, a greater number of technology-rich companies can mitigate their risk to attract investment and grow,” said Dr. Todd Strother, CTC Senior Technology Consultant and SBIR Advance Program Manager.

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 be located 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.

Changes to eligibility include:

  • Companies that previously won more than three (previously two) Phase 2 SBIR/STTR awards in the last 4 years should not apply for a Phase 1 Match Grant.
  • Phase 2 match applicants may apply if they have received no more than three (previously two) Phase 2 awards AND with a current award end date after July 1, 2018.
  • Phase 2 Match applicants must agree to participate in up to three Investor Readiness Workshops presented by CTC as part of the SBIR Advance program.

Applicants should also note these important dates:

  • Feb. 8, 2019: Companies chosen for funding will be notified by this time.
  • Feb. 11, 2019: Phase I Match awardees must be prepared to start the Lean Startup Program. The course runs through May 23 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.

For more details on the SBIR Advance program, contact Strother 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 UW System Administration’s CTC. Selected SBIR Advance participants undergo Ideadvance Lean Startup training that is modified to assist with their SBIR Phase II applications.

About The Center for Technology Commercialization

The Center for Technology Commercialization is part of the University of Wisconsin System Administration’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 The 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 @InWisconsin on Twitter.