Registration Open: Global Perspectives on Technology Commercialization

  Client Success: RFPI Receives STTR Phase II for Surgical Imaging Device

  NSF Submission Process - Preparing for December 12th

  Southeast Angel Capital Association Meeting Recap - Customers of Equity

  Investor Ready Entrepreneur Greenville, NC on October 29th

  New SBTDC Tech Commercialization Team Member


patent Registration Open: Global Perspectives on 
Technology Commercialization

NOVEMBER 20, 2019
RTP, NC @ RTP Foundation
9:00AM - 1:00PM

Learn About

  • IP protection issues to consider
  • Identifying  equity investors outside the US
  • Licensing vs partnering with a foreign company
  • Non-dilutive funding sources with international ties
  • Successful local tech companies with international trade
  • State and federal resources to help your business grow internationally
  • Networking

  • Meet with selected speakers  one-on-one . Sign-up on day of event.
  • Strategize with fellow tech entrepreneurs


  • Walter Daniels, Daniels and Daniels
  • Giles Shih, BRI Worldwide
  • Ann Black, Immunoreagents
  • Paul Boyer, FinOps Solutions
  • Dan Shaughnessy, NIH / NIEHS
  • Nicole Fox, DoD / ARO
  • Shirreef Loza, US Department of Commerce
  • Owen George, SBTDC / International Business Development
  • Laura Kelly, Myers Bigel
  • More to be announced!


Client Success: RFPI Receives STTR Phase II for Surgical Imaging Device

RFPi, a Greenville medical device company, has landed the first Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer grant ever awarded by the National Institutes of Health in Eastern North Carolina or with East Carolina University as the academic research partner. 

One NC Small Business Matching Funds Program

The One North Carolina Small Business Matching Funds Program does not currently have an active solicitation for North Carolina's 2020 fiscal year (July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020). The North Carolina General Assembly is currently developing the FY 2020 budget. 

Once that budget is approved by the General Assembly and the Governor, additional information will be shared regarding whether a FY 2020 solicitation will be available for the One North Carolina Small Business Matching Funds Program. 

 In FY 2019, match awards were made to 25 SBIR/STTR awardees in NC totaling $1.2M. A list of 2019 awardees is available at:

NSF Submission Process - Preparing for December 12th

As we let you know earlier this year, NSF has instituted a new process which requires a "pitch" to be submitted and commented on prior to submission of the official Phase 1 SBIR/STTR proposal. The goal of this process is to confirm that your intended project is a fit with NSF SBIR/STTR funding priorities before you commit significant effort toward developing a full proposal. In preparation for NSF's next proposal submission deadline on December 12th, we recommend taking the following steps now: 

1.) Schedule meeting with SBTDC. Email to discuss program specifics, eligibilty requirement, develop a plan of action and answer questions. 

2.) Review NSF's areas of technical interest. See interests at: 

3.) Start to prepare a 3 page project pitch. See guidance at 

4.) Submit the pitch. NSF will respond with comments in approximately 3 weeks. 

5.) Register your company . While waiting for pitch comments, register your company at SAM, if not completed already. See  

6.) In preparation for drafting a Phase I proposal, review the complete solicitation which includes proposal instructions and much more. See:  

As you work through this process, the SBTDC's Technology Commercialization team across the state is here to provide guidance.

SBIR/STTR Solicitation Dates

Southeast Angel Capital Association Meeting Recap - Customers of Equity

If you have been to one of the SBTDC's "Becoming an Investor Ready Entrepreneur" workshops you know we ask entrepreneurs to view investors as customers of equity. When you sell a product or service you first need to do customer-discovery to understand unmet needs and problems they face. When engaging with investors we hope you do the same as these will be your customers of equity.
Understanding the expectations and the mindset of investors puts companies at an advantage when raising equity capital. That is one of the reasons serial entrepreneurs who have raised capital in the past are appealing to investors, because they knew the expectations and mindset of investors. Here at the SBTDC, it is our goal for the client to see their business from the investor's perspectives.  
In line with that goal, Tech team member Mike Carnes recently attended the Angel Capital Association's (ACA) Southeast Regional meeting in RTP.   The ACA is a forum where the angel investment community discusses trends, opportunities, and challenges they face. The meeting was a perfect opportunity to learn more about these early stage "customers of equity". For example, in the past few years the ACA has worked hard to quantify key metrics important in their decision-making process.
The association asked: What are the implications of the following points to your business?
Increasing valuation. Over the past several years there has been a steady climb in pre-money valuations for early stage investments nationwide and in the southeast. There is debate among investors about the extent of this increase and they are struggling to pin down the realities in the current market. Ultimately, valuation is a negotiation and if a company is insistent on higher than market valuation, they risk being passed over or there may be a trade off between valuation and preferences / terms that seek to contain investor risk.
High risk investments deserve high returns.
  • As a group, angels achieve an annual rate of return (ARR) of about 20%, which equates to a 2.5X multiple of capital in 5 years. Over half of the funded companies will not return any capital. As a result, they need to target companies they believe can return 60% ARR or a 10X multiple of capital in 5 years to make up for those that fail.
  • Investors and angel groups who consistently see returns are disciplined and invest in a portfolio of companies. Investment in multiple (12 or more) companies with scalable business models significantly increases the likelihood of a 20% ARR.
Exits in focus. Investors expect a liquidity event. This happens when companies exit. Many investors will model the financials and exit or expect companies to have done so. They expect CEO's to be on the same page with exit goals. An experienced Board of Directors (usually with investor representation) will help drive the exit.
Women-owned businesses . In the USA, 47% of the work force is female and 36% of business are owned by women yet only about 20% of first equity financings and 2.3% of total venture financing went to women-owned business. There is work to do. Groups like the newly formed xElle Ventures in RTP are hoping to change this by only investing in women owned business.  
Data Sources: ACA and The Brookings Institution, xElle Ventures.

Investor Ready Entrepreneur
Greenville, NC on October 29th

Raising equity capital is challenging at best. Becoming an Investor-Ready Entrepreneur(IRE) is designed to educate and prepare growth-oriented entrepreneurs to successfully engage private equity investors.

This full day program was developed by experienced entrepreneurs, angel investors, angel networks/fund executives and venture capitalists, and provides an "insider's look" into the world of equity funding.

By viewing investors as "customers of equity", entrepreneurs can reduce barriers to funding, navigate the process more easily and increase the chances of obtaining funding.

New SBTDC Tech Commercialization Team Member

Bryan Dennstedt joined the SBTDC team as a Technology Commercialization Counselor based at Appalachian State University's facility in Hickory on September 3rd.  Bryan has been a Chief Technology Officer at various software and medical companies for the past 10 years. Prior to that was a software architect and developer with IBM and Xerox. He has assisted startups and accelerating businesses in project management, software architecture, and design and quality assurance systems.  As a diverse technology entrepreneur, he has a wide technology skill set; but, his real passion is in helping companies turn new ideas into viable businesses that can scale.

He has over 20 years of direct experience in software, hardware, and networking technologies, and has helped various other companies raise money, and scale up their technology departments.

Bryan is serving 36 counties in Western NC.  You can reach Bryan at


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