SBA makes 24 FAST awards to advance SBIR/STTR

August 29, 2019

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced 24 grants to organizations working to increase SBIR/STTR awards and commercialization outcomes in their states. The Federal and State Technology Partnership program (FAST) emphasizes initiatives focusing on underrepresented regions and entrepreneurs.

Congratulations to the SSTI members receiving FAST awards in the 2019 cycle:

  • Arrowhead Center @ New Mexico State University
  • Hawaii Technology Development Corporation
  • Launch Tennessee
  • Maryland Technology Development Corporation
  • TechConnect West Virginia
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • VertueLab

Several of these organizations provided additional information on the goals for their newly-funded initiatives:

According to a statement, TechConnect’s FAST activities will, “Center around providing hands-on education for entrepreneurs and small business owners about how to apply for SBIR/STTR funding, creating a ‘playbook’ of instructions and best practices for applying for funding, and connecting entrepreneurs with the federal and state resources available for grant applicants.”

Ellen Purpus, assistant VP for enterprise and innovation at University of Nevada Reno, said, “Nevada is experiencing unprecedented economic growth, a cornerstone of which is technology entrepreneurship. Creation of University of Nevada, Reno SAGE (Sierra Accelerator for Growth & Entrepreneurship) will enable the state’s tech startups and young companies to increase the number of their SBIR/STTR awards, awards that can be seminal to the companies’ success.”

According to Greg Tucker, State Director, Missouri Small Business Development Centers and Education Director; University of Missouri Extension Business Development Programs, the FAST-funded program in Missouri will have a strong emphasis on entrepreneurs and innovators in rural areas. They intend to hold a minimum of 12, four-week courses based on I-Corps curriculum in rural areas and will stream additional SBIR/STTR and pitch courses across the state.

Impacts from past awardees include: Iowa Innovation Corp. establishing a peer-to-peer network and improving the state’s award success rate by half, to 22 percent; Launch Tennessee helping a woman-founded company connect with Oak Ridge National Lab and win an award from NSF; and, a multi-time winner in Oregon deploying a new sensor technology across Africa.

Each award is for $125,000, matched with non-federal funds.

SBA was appropriated $3 million in FY 2019 for FAST. SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council has been working with other organizations to encourage additional appropriations and larger awards, to help achieve an even greater impact in each state.

sba, sbir