March 2018                                                                             Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn  View our videos on YouTube  Visit our blog
A Farewell to Friends
At the end of this month the BBCetc team will bid a fond farewell of Lisa and Michael Kurek, who will retire to begin a new chapter in their lives. It is not easy to say good bye for their continued guidance, knowledge, talent and friendship will be sorely missed.

Lisa joined BBCetc founder, Mickey Katz-Pek in 1997 as managing partner and co-owner. Under her leadership, the company began to expand its reach both in breadth of expertise and national presence. In 2002, they were instrumental in winning a grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund to build and manage the Michigan SBIR/STTR Assistance Program, which continues today and has brought over $213 million in awards to state companies. BBC has since engaged with programs in New York City, Connecticut, Virginia, Illinois, Texas and many other states.

A consummate presenter and SBIR/STTR expert, Lisa has been a sought after trainer and speaker and she has helped build a team that will endure (see below).

Michael joined BBCetc in 2001 bringing with him over 25 years of experience in diverse roles in the product development process. His background has taken him from research scientist, project leader and product manager to marketing and sales executive and consultant to technology entrepreneurs. Also an excellent trainer and proposal reviewer, Michael's analytical thinking, problem solving skills and wisdom have made him a valued member of our group.

Lisa and Michael have spent years following a passion of helping tech-based entrepreneurs reach their goals, and we wish them all the very best of things as they pursue their new adventure!

But Wait!
BBCetc continues to ably serve the entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout the U.S. Our team brings together a depth and breadth of experience in all aspects of developing technology companies - from R&D and technology transfer, to marketing and senior management, in life sciences and engineering, with both start-ups and established companies. Here's a snapshot of the post-March 31 team:
  • Becky AistrupMBA - DOD, DHS, NASA, NIH, NSF and commercialization planning
  • Kris Bergman - Grants and contracts management, and budget and administrative support for all agencies
  • Andrea Johanson, PhD - NIH grants and contracts
  • Austin Dean, MBA - NIH, NSF, DOE, USDA, DoED, DOT, DOC, EPA, and commercialization planning
  • Jerry Hollister - DOE, NSF, DOD, commercialization planning, post-award management
  • Jayne Berkaw - Marketing and communications and training programs outside of Michigan
  • Bonnie Dawdy - Michigan SBIR/STTR Assistance Program
  • Jodi Bergman - Administrative support
Contact us for help!

Be Kind to Your SBIR/STTR  Proposal Reviewer; Formatting Matters
By Andrea Johanson, PhD, BBCetc Senior Principal Consultant

While quality content and impactful science is the basis of a strong SBIR/STTR proposal, one of your primary goals in putting your proposal together is making it easy for the reviewer to read. You want the reviewers reading your proposal to be happy, yes, happy. Happy reviewers are more likely to review your proposal favorably. One way to make that happen is to ensure that your proposal is readable.

Here are some basic tips based on the formatting changes that I recommend most when I review proposals:
  • Left-align your text. Always. Left-aligned text (with a ragged right margin) is much easier to read than justified text (straight right margin). Actual science has shown this. Check out the difference below:


  • Use headings and sub-headings. Saving space by not using headings is a big mistake. Headings do several things:
    • They help you to remember to put everything into the proposal.
    • They break up the text to make it more readable.
    • They make it easier for the reviewers to find information.
    • All of the above make reviewers happy. Read on
FY18 DOD CDMRP Program 
Pre-Announcements are Out
Although funds have not been appropriated for the peer reviewed programs managed by the DOD office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), it recently released pre-announcements to allow investigators time to plan and develop ideas for submission to the anticipated FY18 funding opportunities. FY18 funding opportunities are anticipated for the following programs:
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Research Program
  • Bone Marrow Failure Research Program
  • Breast Cancer Research Program
  • Multiple Sclerosis Research Program
  • Ovarian Cancer Research Program
  • Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program
Descriptions, eligibility, key mechanism elements, and funding can be found in the respective program pre-announcement

The CDMRP fills research gaps by funding high-impact, high-risk and high-gain projects that other agencies may not venture to fund. While individual programs are unique in their focus, all programs managed by the CDMRP share the common goal of advancing paradigm shifting research, solutions that will lead to cures or improvements in patient care, or breakthrough technologies and resources for clinical benefit.

  training on tap
SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep for DOE
Mar 20 - Houston, TX 

SBIR/STTR Expanded Overview: NIH, NSF and DOD
Mar 22 - Kalamazoo, MI

SBIR/STTR Intro & Overview 
Mar 23 - E. Lansing, MI

SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep for DOD
Mar 27 - Amarillo, TX

SBIR/STTR Workshop: NSF, NIH, Commercialization
Mar 27-28 - Edinburg, TX

University Participation in SBIR/STTR
Mar 29 - Grand Rapids, MI

SBIR Grant Writing Workshop
Apr 9-10 - Portland, OR

Webinar: Reading the Solicitation and Using it to Write Your Proposal
Apr 17, 1-2PM ET

SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep for DOD
Apr 23 - Livonia, MI

Mid Atlantic SBIR/STTR & Commercialization Conference
Apr 25-26 - Herndon, VA

Check out our
new recorded webinar:

Standard close dates: Apr. 5, Sept. 5 and Jan. 5

Dept. of Transportation (DOT)
Closes Mar. 20

Dept. of Commerce-Nat'l. Institute of Standards and Technology
Closes Apr. 4

  who we are  
BBCetc is nationally recognized for its expertise in helping technology-based entrepreneurs win federal funding through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs and use it strategically to propel growth. BBCetc capabilities include:


Commercialization planning

Research grant assistance

SBIR/STTR training and proposal development assistance

Grants/contracts management

Tech-based economic 

development programs


Contact us:


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