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Grants for Tech Startups

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The good news is there are grants available for startups and today I'll talk about the biggest source of grant funding that exists Hi I'm Steve Morris

And today I'll be talking about grants specifically for tech startups and in particular the SBIR and the STTR programs by the end of this video You'll have a basic understanding of what SBIR and STTR is a rough idea of who qualifies which agencies participate in the program and I'll share some secrets to success in applying for these grants and then give you a quick intro to some follow on videos 14 how to videos that will help you prepare to successfully apply to these grant programs Let's start with what is SBIR STTR Well first the definition SBIR is the Small Business Innovation Research program and STTR is the Small Business Technology Transfer research program

That doesn't explain a lot What are these programs really Well they are US government grant programs They give almost 3 billion dollars a year between the two programs to small businesses Specifically grants for startup business because the majority of these grants go to companies with 10 employees or less

Even better these are grants for R& D for research and development and that's a very good thing for a lot of tech startups because it's tough to fund R&D Your typical angel investor really is nervous about investing that early in basic research and development And the same goes for venture capitalists But this is exactly what these programs SBIR and STTR are focused on there to help you develop early stage technology a technology that the government might be interested in being able to use So who qualifies

Well you have to be a small business and that is defined as 500 employees or less But keep in mind that most of these grants go to companies with 10 employees or less You have to be US owned and you have to have a technology that some part of the U

S government is interested in Good news is they're interested in a lot of different technologies So how much is available in terms of dollars from these programs Well quite a bit

Both programs have a Phase One you apply for first and then a Phase Two the typical Phase 1 amount is $100,000 to $200,000 dollars to do concept development and proof of concept A Phase 2 is typically around a million dollars And that's for actual development of your first product So again each agency is different but these are the round numbers involved in a Phase 1 and a Phase 2 So it's the difference between SBIR and STTR where the follow on videos will give you a lot more detail but roughly speaking and STTR requires a contract with a government lab and you'll be working primarily with the technology that you would license from that lab

With an SBIR you can contract with a government lab but you're not required to And the primary technology for the project would be coming from your company not from the government lab Again more details in one of our follow on videos Which agencies participate in these two programs Well quite a few

Shown in blue are the ones that do only an SBIR program and in red are the agencies that do both SBIR and STTR programs and it's quite a list The USDA Department of Agriculture In Department of Commerce there's NIST the Institute of Standards and Technology and NOAA the oceans and atmosphere people, Department of Defense DOD has multiple programs the Army the Navy Air Force DARPA the Missile Defense Agency There are multiple agencies within the DOD that have both of these programs Education Department

Department of Energy DOE HHS the Health and Human Services Department DHS the Department of Homeland Security DOT Department of Transportation EPA the Environmental Protection Agency

And of course NASA And last but not least NSF the National Science Foundation So again a lot of different agencies that provide one or both of these programs A few secrets to success These were shared by executives in these different agencies who actually evaluate the SBIR and STTR applications so they've learned a few things

One of their suggestions Do your homework Research the different agencies see what they're interested in and make sure you're picking an agency that really is interesting and interested in the technology that you're developing But don't stop there Pick up the phone

You are encouraged to call these agencies You can talk to the program managers Again these are probably people who will be participating in the evaluation of your proposal They'll give you feedback They'll tell you what they're interested in

They'll tell you whether or not what you're talking about seems like a good fit to what they're interested in They may be able to point you to a different agency that might be a better fit So give them a call Don't be shy Read the instructions

Surprisingly enough a lot of the applications that come into these agencies don't provide the requested information because people just didn't read the instructions carefully So if you do read the instructions and provide what's requested you'll be ahead of quite a few of the other applicants and increase your odds of success Understand the difference between agencies that use a contract model versus a grant model Some agencies know very specifically what they want you to develop and that's more the contract model They're very specific on their deliverables

Others use more of a grant approach where they have a more general interest and they're willing to let you defined in more detail what you'll deliver Understand the difference and make sure that you develop your proposal appropriately And finally get help This is a complicated process These Instruction sets are not simple to understand

There are definitely lessons learned you can benefit from somebody who's done this before You probably have entities in your area that help companies prepare applications for these grant programs So find the help that's available in your area and get that help You'll be glad you did And finally the 2018 road tour

Each year a lot of executives from the SBIR programs at different agencies do a road tour There is a lot of different cities and share information on how the program works and how to apply because they really do want you to succeed They want to receive quality applications So what I did at the 2018 Portland Road Tour was recorded some of these programs and it's some excellent content for anybody interested in understanding more of the detail of the SBIR and STTR programs First of all there is a more detailed overview than what I gave in this video so you can really understand the details of the program

There's a discussion of the contract approach vs the grant approach and which agencies use which approach that's important to understand depending on which agency you're going after And then there are 12 five minute presentations from executives from all of these different agencies and you can see it is quite a list This is incredibly useful data Each agency is describing what they look for and how their program is unique

So there are some great pointers in all of this content for how you can succeed in developing a presentation for one or more of these different agencies So great content to zero in on And that's it for this presentation on grants for technology startups SBIR and SPDR Now I've followed this with a whole playlist of all those videos that I listed in the previous slide be rolling those out One at a time

Check them out and it'll tell you a lot more about how these programs work With that, if this was helpful please click the like button below please subscribe to the channel and if you know other entrepreneurs that could benefit from this information please go ahead and share with them so they can check out these two grant programs And be sure to check out the follow on videos to get more detailed information about how these programs work and how to apply to the specific agencies that offer SBIR and STTR That's it Thanks for watching

Source: Youtube

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