SBIR Advance opens 15th round of funding for high-tech small businesses

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 15th round of SBIR Advance funding dedicated by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) since SBIR Advance began in 2014. 

“Since 2014, SBIR Advance has supported more than 90 companies. More than 40 percent have gone on to win a Phase II SBIR/STTR award, resulting in more than $33 million in additional grants to Wisconsin innovators and more than 270 jobs in FY19 alone,” said Dr. Todd Strother, CTC Senior Technology Consultant and SBIR Advance Program Manager. “This cycle, we continue programming for Phase II winners, connecting them to industry scouts and investors to support their access to funding and strategic partners — all with the goal of maximizing funding toward commercialization.” 

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.

Changes to eligibility include:

  • Companies that have won more than three Phase II SBIR/STTR awards in the last four years should not apply for a Phase I Match Grant.   
  • Phase II match applicants may apply if they have received no more than three Phase II awards AND with a current award end date after March 1, 2019.

Applicants should note these important dates:

  • Feb. 3, 2020: Companies chosen for funding will be notified by this time. 
  • Feb. 17, 2020: Phase I match awardees must be prepared to start the Lean Startup Program. The course runs through May 28, 2020, 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 and current eligibility requirements, 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 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 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 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.