SBIR/STTR Agency Updates

  NSF SBIR/STTR Webinar - April 23rd

  DoD Solicitation Release - May 6th

  SBIR Road Tour - RESCHEDULED to 9/14

  SBIR Road Tour Prep Course - RESCHEDULED to 9/7

  NIH Grant Podcasts

  Equity Funding Thoughts from Two VCs

  Stay Connected!

  Funding Opportunities

  1 Million Cups


While businesses face many challenges every day, we are facing a unique challenge at this time. The coronavirus has disrupted the lives of millions of people and is having significant impacts on businesses. Smaller businesses have experienced fewer customers, disrupted supply chains and created cash flow challenges. Now is the time to assess the impact COVID-19 is having on your business. North Carolina's small business service providers are here to help you navigate this unprecedented event. As a collective, we have a long history of helping businesses prepare for and recover from disasters. As North Carolina comes to grips with the coronavirus, we are committed to providing businesses with guidance to help them manage during this crisis.

We have an actively updated website dedicated to small business topics at:

In this time of uncertainty, the SBTDC tech counselors are staying apprised of changes related to the SBIR and STTR programs.  We expect that there will be updated solicitation release dates and proposal submission deadline changes, as well as new special solicitation announcements.  Please reach out to us with any questions you have.

SBIR/STTR Agency Updates

Updates for all agencies as they become available will be included at: 

NIH - The April 6 th submission deadline remains in play.  However, NIH is willing to make exceptions.  More information is available at: 

NASA - The new submission deadline is Monday, April 20, 2020 at 5 pm ET.  See 

NSF SBIR/STTR Webinar - April 23 rd  

Join National Science Foundation (NSF) program manager, Dr. Nair on this 60 minute webinar to learn about NSF's: 
  • Technical areas of interest
  • Pitch submission process
  • Proposal requirements  
NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Phase I proposers are REQUIRED to submit a three-page "Project Pitch" that outlines the project objectives, technical innovation and associated technical risks. The Project Pitch gives NSF the ability to provide feedback prior to the full proposal submission process, ensuring that proposers do not expend time or resources preparing full proposals that are clearly not aligned with the NSF SBIR/STTR program objectives. Details regarding this process as well as how to submit a Project Pitch can be found in section V.A of this document.
The NSF SBIR/STTR Program opened four submission windows, as opposed to specific deadlines, that allow small businesses the flexibility to submit a full proposal at any time within a window. Please refer to specific quarterly window dates listed at the top of this document. Please note that the proposal submission system (Fastlane) will shut down at 5:00 p.m. "proposer's time" on the submission window closing date, but will reopen the following morning.

NSF increased the SBIR/STTR Phase I funding amount to a maximum of $256,000  to better support the nation's startups and small businesses, as part of the recent federal adjustment for inflation.
The NSF SBIR/STTR Program funds the development of deep technologies, based on discoveries in fundamental science and engineering for profound societal impacts, and welcomes the submission of Project Pitches and full proposals (from companies that were invited to submit) in nearly all  technical areas .

DoD Solicitation Release - May 6 th

The next DoD SBIR and STTR solicitations will be released on May 6 th.  
  • Pre-Release: May 6, 2020
  • Open: June 3, 2020
  • Close: July 2, 2020 at 12:00 PM ET

SBIR Road Tour - RESCHEDULED to 9/14

The SBIR all-agency road tour has been rescheduled from April 15 th to September 14 th in Durham, NC!  Individual SBIR program managers from participating agencies representing over $3.7B in non-dilutive early stage funding will participate in this one-day event alongside technology entrepreneurs and state innovation SBIR/STTR ecosystem members.
Additional information about the event, including registration, is available at:

SBIR Road Tour
Prep Course - RESCHEDULED to 9/7

To make the most out of their visit, please join the SBTDC's Technology Commercialization Team for a Prep Course from 1:30pm to 4:30pm on September 7 th at the First Flight Venture Center.

At this free event, you will learn:
  • How SBIR/STTR can be used as seed capital for growing your company
  • The missions of participating federal agencies
  • How to prepare for one-on-one meetings with SBIR program managers
Date:  September 7 th , 2020

Location:  First Flight Venture Center, 2 Davis Drive, Durham

Time:  1:30PM to 4:30PM


NIH Grant Podcasts

The Office of Extramural Research (OER) talks to NIH staff members about the ins and outs of NIH funding. Designed for investigators, fellows, students, research administrators, and others just curious about the application and award process, we provide insights on grant topics from those who live and breathe the information. Episodes are available as mp3s for download here, via iTunes, or via RSS feed.  

SBIR/STTR Solicitation Dates

Equity investors are in uncertain times

Everyone is experiencing the economic impact of COVID-19.  The equity capital markets are no exception.  Small business owners can expect to fight an even steeper uphill battle when raising angel and venture capital financing. 

As economic uncertainty continues to be the new norm investors are reluctant to invest.  Companies who are raising early rounds of VC financing are struggling to get commitments even after receiving strong positive signals from investors prior to COVID-19.  Many Venture Capital firms are reserving cash for their portfolio companies which could mean fewer new deals.  They are also reluctant to initiate capital calls right now because their Limited Partners are being substantially impacted by the lower value of the public markets.  This is contributing to a "wait it out" mentality among some investors. 

Angel investors are feeling additional pressure as well.  Portfolio companies who are unable to raise follow on VC funding will be looking to their angels for additional support.  As a result, new ventures will likely experience an even greater challenge in raising these early equity investment dollars.

Moreover, for equity backed companies there are multiple uncertainties and confusion about eligibility due to the application of SBA's "affiliation rules" as part of SBA Paycheck Protection Program officially known as the CARES Act.  Please refer to our website on the latest updates on the PPP and/or contact Mike Carnes ( [email protected] ) for additional insight and assistance.

Equity Funding Thoughts from Two VCs

In lieu of the cancelled "VCs Talk Back" panel in San Diego, an interview with venture capitalists Bill Harrington (Managing Partner, Osage University Partners) and Cami Samuels (Partner, Venrock) was conducted recently.  A recording of the interview is available at:
Topics include:
  • Minute 0: introductions by Bill and Cami, including overviews of their firms, their funds' areas of interest, and how they became VCs in the first place
  • Minute 10:00 - "Venture Investing in the Time of COVID".  How has the pandemic changed the ways that VCs are managing their existing portfolios; doing diligence on new opportunities; how they determine where to allocate their cash; their ability to raise new funds from their LPs; whether they are looking for COVID-related investments.
  • Minute 35:20 - "Geography is Destiny". How does geography play a role in the deal sourcing and company location decisions VCs make; how can universities outside the coastal startup hubs get VCs to look at their deals

Stay Connected!

Conduct virtual meetings - there are numerous resources online about how to get started with this -  Regardless of which one you choose, if you have any questions, perhaps one of our counselors can help you ensure you are working. 

Social interactions are a fabric of our lives. During our social distancing time, reach out to people outside of work. For your mental health and theirs stay connected. Family, friends, social groups are all moving online.

Funding Opportunities

Below is a list of funding opportunities and updates collected from various resources.  Since information regarding COVID-19 is changing rapidly, the SBTDC is not responsible for omissions, deletions, or errors as it pertains to this list.
  • NC Biotech Center  - There are many time dependent grants and calls to action listed on a dedicated page at These opportunities are very dynamic, but checking the site daily or even more so could prove to be beneficial for companies with flexibility in project work. Other information on events and the situation around COVID-19 is available on this page.
  • Others to watch - Med Tech Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI) 

1 Million Cups

1 Million Cups - - they are moving all their meetings to virtual. There is a local chapter in your city, check it out and get connected virtually.


The North Carolina Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) educates business associates on how to obtain contracts by providing comprehensive assistance in selling products and services to local, state and federal government agencies.
The SBTDC's International Business Development Specialists assists small and mid-sized businesses with export planning and exporting.

The Team
The Technology Commercialization Services team provides one-on-one business counseling and advice  to: small business owners, university researchers, and entrepreneurs looking to advance their innovations to the marketplace.

Director, Technology Development 
and Commercialization 
SBIR/STTR Specialist & Newsletter Editor 
Technology Commercialization Counselor
Eastern NC
Technology Commercialization Counselor
North Central NC
Technology Commercialization Counselor
Western NC

Technology Commercialization Program

5 West Hargett St., Suite 600 Raleigh, NC 27601
[email protected]