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How ConnecTech Can Help You With SBIR

ConnecTech is designed to assist small, District-based technology firms with connecting to technology opportunities. The signature initiative of ConnecTech is an effort, funded in partnership with the US Small Business Administration (SBA) to help small businesses compete for federal commercialization opportunities through the Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

About SBIR
Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) is a highly competitive federal program that encourages small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. The federal SBIR and STTR programs are sources of a combined $2.5 billion in early-stage R&D seed capital set aside exclusively for small, tech-based US companies. These programs offer grants or contracts to support serious R&D and subsequent commercialization of technologies valued both by the business applicant and the federal government. The company owns the intellectual property and all commercialization rights. Companies such as Symantec, Qualcomm, DaVinci and iRobot were started with R&D funding from this program.

STTR is another program that expands funding opportunities in R&D.  This program promotes public/private partnerships and requires collaboration with a research institute. Read more about the STTR Program here

Three phased program

The SBIR Program is structured in three phases:

Phase I. The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of the proposed R/R&D efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small business awardee organization prior to providing further Federal support in Phase II. SBIR Phase I awards normally do not exceed $150,000 total costs for 6 months.

Phase II. The objective of Phase II is to continue the R/R&D efforts initiated in Phase I. Funding is based on the results achieved in Phase I and the scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of the project proposed in Phase II. Only Phase I awardees are eligible for a Phase II award. SBIR Phase II awards normally do not exceed $1,000,000 total costs for 2 years.

Phase III. The objective of Phase III, where appropriate, is for the small business to pursue commercialization objectives resulting from the Phase I/II R/R&D activities. The SBIR program does not fund Phase III. Some Federal agencies, Phase III may involve follow-on non-SBIR funded R&D or production contracts for products, processes or services intended for use by the U.S. Government.

Is SBIR right for you?

Below is a short list of questions for you to consider when assessing if it makes sense for your firm to pursue SBIR and STTR grants. While not every answer needs to be yes, there needs to be a strong business case in order to increase your chance of winning.

ConnecTech can help you determine if it is possible for you to build a team to fill in some of the gaps that may exist.

1.     Is your firm a for-profit entity, or will a for-profit entity be formed?

2.     Does your firm meet the current ownership and other SBA requirements for "small company" status?

a.     500 or fewer employees including affiliates and subsidiaries

b.     At least 51% owned and operated by US citizen or permanent resident

c.     Located in the U.S.

3.     Does your firm have R&D personnel, capabilities and access to facilities needed to credibly carry out at least 2/3 of the Phase I work in-house for SBIR or at least 40% of the work in-house for STTR?

4.     Does your firm have an "eligible" Principal Investigator (PI) available during the period of performance of the SBIR/STTR contract or grant -- "eligible" being determined both by employment status with the company (51%) and credible R&D credentials?

5.     Are the PI and the rest of the R&D team likely to be credible as researchers in the eyes of the agency reviewers? What kinds of people need to be added to the team to add the needed credibility? Is the team complete?

6.     Does your firm have a great RESEARCH idea? Is this project really about research? Are there Phase I feasibility issues to address? What research will be done in Phase I? How will Phase I success be measured? Is there any indication that a Phase I work plan exists? Does a realistic work plan fit the Phase I scope and budget?

7.     Does your research idea fit with a participating federal agency solicitation topic?

8.     Does preliminary data (obtained by the applicant, his team members or others in the field) indicate the potential for the feasibility of the project?

Do you have ACCESS to the needed facilities and equipment?


ConnecTech has mobilized partners in the university, research and venture capital spaces to maximize technology commercialization.

ConnecTech is dedicated to providing assistance to DC based companies interested in the SBIR and STTR program. We have a full time staff that will help your firm with the full lifecycle of SBIR/STTR support, including:

  • Selecting the right agencies / topics to pursue
  • Identifying and connecting with teaming partners including prime contractors
  • Providing introductions to university partners
  • Proposal review and support
  • Intellectual property support

If you think that your firm is well positioned to pursue the SBIR/STTR program, we would love to work with you. Please reach out to us by contacting Kate Mereand, Manager of Small Business Technology and Innovation at [email protected]


Service Contact: 
Kate Mereand
Contact Email: 
Contact Phone: 
(202) 727-3900
Contact TTY: 
Contact Suite #: 
850 North
Service Location: 

441 4th Street, NW

GIS Address: 
441 4th Street, NW