Beyond the Pitch
OSU Hosts 2018 SBIR Road Show in Columbus
This summer-long cross-country tour is reaching out to entrepreneurs and innovators in a grassroots initiative to spread awareness and understanding of the non-dilutive technology funding opportunities provided through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
These highly competitive programs encourage startups and spinouts to engage in federal research and development, with a path (including funding) toward commercialization of solutions to federal government and private sector as well. (For easy-to-follow series of FAQs regarding SBIR/STTRs, click here.)
The day consisted of panel discussions, networking, and one-on-one meetings between entrepreneurs and innovators and individual program managers representing the government agencies that participate in SBIR/STTR—programs which give about $2.5 billion in early-stage funding. SBIR/STTR grants give innovators the opportunity to de-risk their technologies without diluting equity.
Understanding Federal Agency Needs is Key to SBIR/STTR Success
The roadshow started with the Reverse Pitches session. Each agency pitched themselves to the innovators in the room. Thirteen Federal agencies, from the National Institutes of Health to NASA to the Department of Defense, spoke to the mission and needs of their department, letting entrepreneurs and researchers know what ideas they were seeking. Innovators had the opportunity to consider whether their technologies and products align with the mission of each agency.
Attendees were able to reserve one to multiple one-on-one meetings with SBIR program managers that would help them navigate the funding process. At the Startup Success Stories panel, which included four companies that have received over $10MM+ of SBIR/STTR funding, the benefits of applying federal funding expand beyond monetary support because entrepreneurs will gain valuable feedback from potential end-users with problems to solve.
For example, proposals, whether accepted are not, are reviewed by experts in the industry and academia.
Rev1 moderates the local resource panel to highlight organizations in Columbus that help companies work through the SBIR/STTR grant process.
Rev1, Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Procurement Technical Assistant Center (PATC), and SBA Columbus office, that can all help entrepreneurs in various ways. Applying for an SBIR or STTR is a cumbersome process. Some local spinouts and startups have received SBIR/STTR grants. Leaders from pH Matter, Nanofiber Solutions, Tangram Flex, and Cytolutions were featured on a panel discussing their path to securing funding.
Kristy Campbell, Rev1 COO, moderates the Local Resource and Support panel.
Paul Matter, founder pH Matter, and Kristie Melnik, CEO Core Quantum Technologies, speaking on the Success Stories panel.
Learn more about SBIR/STTRs here.
Coming Soon: TRIAD (Technology Requirements & Innovation Awareness Days) is coming to Columbus, OH August 13-16. TRIAD Ohio is a unique education opportunity for companies who want to sell to the Department of Defense (DoD) and related federal agencies. Participating companies will learn which technologies the DoD needs now and where to find new requirements in the future. In addition, TRIAD helps companies learn how to respond to posted requirements and how to effectively communicate their innovative solutions with targeted Quad Charts and Information Papers. Learn more.
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