High-tech small businesses: Apply for 21st round of SBIR Advance funding

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 21st 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 competitive commercialization plans for competitive SBIR/STTR Phase II proposals,” said Todd Strother, SBIR Advance program manager. “Over the past eight years, 147 awards totaling over $12 million have been awarded. Those businesses reported obtaining $62.7 million in follow-on funding since receiving the SBIR Advance matching grants. 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; and be registered within the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

Applicants should note these important dates:

  • Early May 2023: Companies chosen for funding will be notified by this time.
  • Week of June 8, 2023: Phase I match awardees must be prepared to start the Lean Startup Program. The course runs throughAug. 31, 2023, 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.

“A new round of SBIR Advance is opening up and we look forward to continuing the program with an exciting group of innovative companies,” said Strother. “Our program consistently helps Phase I SBIR winners get Phase II funding, and our Phase II winners moved along to commercialization. We select the teams based on their need for funds and their potential to impact the Wisconsin economy. It is always satisfying to see so many great companies who have won SBIR grants get this follow-on funding through our program.”

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

SBIR Advance is part of a Start-Seed-Scale (S3) initiative that 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  is the Ideadvance Seed Fund. This collaboration between WEDC and the UW System is 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.

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