High-tech small businesses: Apply for 22nd 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 22nd 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 fundable SBIR/STTR Phase II proposals,” said Todd Strother, SBIR Advance program manager. “Over the past nine years, 157 awards totaling over $13 million have been awarded. Those businesses reported obtaining $64 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 November 2023: Companies chosen for funding will be notified by this time.
  • January 2024: Phase I match awardees must be prepared to start the Lean Startup Program. The course runs throughthe end of March 2024, 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.

“We are looking forward to the next round of SBIR Advance with deadlines in October,” said Strother. “This program continues to assist in the success of Wisconsin’s technology companies who have been funded through the Federal SBIR programs. While SBIR programs fund the technical development of a product, our SBIR Advance program focuses on the business and commercial activities required to successfully bring a product to market and make the company financially successful. We are happy to continue the program for both Phase I and Phase II SBIR winning companies to improve their chances of commercial success.

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. 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.