SBIR/STTR Awards: Free Money?
We often hear, and say ourselves, that SBIR/STTR funding is "free" money. While the funds are non-dilutive, requiring no repayment, we should clarify that SBIR/STTR awards are certainly not a "gift". When a grant has been awarded the recipient company is making a promise to use the money as proposed, maintain eligibility, follow reporting guidelines and demonstrate progress.
Your task now is management of the funds awarded, and your most "expensive' costs will be time and effort needed to do that. Learning what is needed to be compliant with government regulations and directing your business in an organized manner, in addition to continuing work on your technology, will show good stewardship of tax dollars.
Management of an award requires developing and following policies and procedures, establishing an accounting system that adheres to federal requirements, and setting up procurement policies, payroll, employee standards and other internal controls that are necessary for success. Time and effort!
The work involved in preparing a winning SBIR/STTR proposal is definitely worth the effort, but it is just the beginning. Here are some tips that may lighten the post-award load:
Check out BBCetc's grant/contract management services
- Do what you know, but get help with the areas with which you are less familiar.
- Store and record in a secure place your company registration log ins and passwords as a back up. Change happens quickly and you can be locked out of accounts and spend hours tracking down the details.
- File all grant or contract administrative-related documents in one location, a secure electronic "binder" great.
- Set a consistent time to reconcile accounts and review project budgets against actual expenditures.
Contact us about our assistance program for grant/contract management
What You Need to Know about Strategic Partnering for SBIR/STTR Companies
From the perspective of the small company, the motivation seems both simple and obvious - the need for funding. However, whether an entrepreneur is simply chasing dollars or views alliances more strategically, he or she might be surprised that large corporations are even more interested in partnerships. One Booz Allen survey of 2,000 firms identified six reasons why big companies partner, including:
Two or three of these goals can be pursued through partnerships with small technology companies.
- Accelerating growth
- Accessing critical capabilities
- Entering new markets
- Building critical mass
- Accelerating R&D
- Reducing costs or capacity
Big company−small company alliances might be most common...and most successful...in the pharmaceutical industry. Large pharma companies may have many actively-managed alliances underway at any point in time. Revenue derived from alliance-related products and enabling patents from these partnerships can be significant. Read on
Technical Advisory Board Can Lend Insight and Credibility
A Technical Advisory Board (also known as a Scientific Advisory
Board) can provide significant advantages to your start-up business when you are in the process of seeking funding from equity investment or non-dilutive funding such as SBIR/STTR grants. Most businesses create advisory boards when there are subject areas where objective expert outsiders can enhance the strategic and technical knowledge base of the management and Board of Directors.
Experienced advisors not only bring deep subject matter expertise to extend the skills of the management team, but also help you understand your customer and your market from a different perspective. Besides the insight advisors bring, careful recruitment can also build the credibility of your technical team beyond your limited ability to hire.
Regional Seminar to Focus on Program Funding and Grants Admin.
May 15-17 in Baltimore
This two-day seminar offers an array of concurrent sessions, designed for administrators, researchers, grant writers, etc. In addition, get personalized guidance during Meet the Expert chats available between attendees and NIH staff.
Optional pre-seminar workshops include detailed information on topics like human research protection, application preparation, post-application submission, intellectual property, iEdison, and more.
SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep for NIH
DOE SBIR/STTR Phase II Proposal Prep and Commercialization Strategies
Commercialization Planing for SBIR/STTR Proposals
SBIR/STTR Basics and Proposal Prep for DOD
NIH & NSF SBIR Proposal Workshop
SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep for NSF
Proposal Prep for DOD
Clinical trails not allowed:
Clinical trials allowed:
Standard close dates: Jan. 5
, Sept. 5
Closes Feb. 25
Closes Mar. 20
Opens Feb. 19, closes Apr. 22