Friday, June 26, 2009

It's a Prize Fight: Wall Street vs. Main Street. The Prize: SBIR Money and more.

Are you ready to rumble? There's gonna be a big fight! A Floor Fight! In the House of Representatives!

In one corner: Wall Street. The Challenger. Big. Brawny. Polished. Well heeled. Slickly packaged and promoted. Big guys trying to muscle in on the little guys' territory and grab some money.

In the other corner: Main Street. The Defender. Small. Scrappy. Agile. Impecunious. Ragtag organization and promotion. Little guys trying to hold onto the only source of money they've got.

The Prize: Money of course. Millions, even billions of dollars. But wait -- There's more! (Be patient, we'll get to it...)

In the ring for the Wall Street Challenger: Velazquez the Chairwoman. A Rep from New York. The Big City. The Challenger's home territory. Tough. Stubborn. Aloof. Bows to the almighty VC. Believes that the only ones worthy of her time are those who've been anointed by the almighty VC. Won't even let the little guys speak in her presence. (Huh! Doesn't she actually lead the Gang that allegedly protects the little guys' interests? What's she doing in the Challenger's corner anyhow?)

In the ring for the Main Street Defender: Markey the Magnificent. A Rep from Massachusetts. Bows to no one. Energy is his thing. Willing to stand up for the little guy and challenge the Gang. Gets it that small businesses can have great ideas and innovate even if they haven't been anointed by a VC yet. Just as stubborn as the Challenger's avatar. Ready to fight. Ready to lead.

The Referee: Pelosi the Speaker. All powerful. Owns the ring, so to speak. She can stop the fight by imposing rules that no one else understands. Both of the avatars in this fight are "Dems", Pelosi's Party, so it's really gonna be interesting! Hopefully, she'll decide to preside over a fair fight and give both sides a chance to throw some punches.

The Prize: SBIR Money. Not a lot per award actually -- just enough to get started. Plant the seeds and grow a product. Prove it works.

Is SBIR really worth fighting for? The little guy thinks so. He has no other source for seed money. The already anointed have VCs with deep pockets. And the VC's bucks are bigger, much bigger. So what's the deal?

The deal is -- there's more! Along with the prize money comes Validation. Acceptance. Proof that a great idea can produce solid results. Results that make money. (The almighty VC reveres money over all else.)

And, for the little guy it's jobs. The SBIR prize creates jobs. Especially valuable when jobs are hard to find.

How does the winner of this fight get chosen? All the House Reps vote. Winner gets to define SBIR (H.R.2965). So, there's a lot at stake.

Women and minorities don't get anointed by VCs much. If the Wall Street Challenger wins, they should probably just forget about SBIR.

Most VCs seem to live in big cities by the ocean. Not many live elsewhere. What's more, they only anoint those who live near them! If they find someone to anoint who doesn't - they usually force them to move close by. If the Wall Street Challenger wins, SBIR money will flow to the big cities on the coasts.

So what about the middle of the country and away from the big cities? If the Wall Street Challenger wins, fewer SBIR Prizes will be won there. If I were a House Rep from ANYWHERE the VCs don't hang out, I'd back the Main Street Defender!

That's what makes Markey the Magnificent so special. He's from a big city by the ocean that does have VCs hanging out. But he's not swayed by their slick talk. You other Reps need a role model? He's your guy. Follow his lead. We Main Street Defenders are proud to have him in our corner.

So, get ready for the Big Fight. Bell rings just after the Fourth of July fireworks. They're lacing up the gloves as we speak.

We'll be covering the fight on There will be lots of information from the SBTC and others you can use to cheer on the Defenders and try and influence the House Reps to back our cause. The more cheering and influencing we do the better.

All together now: "Follow Markey's Lead! Follow Markey's Lead!"

House Reps can be convinced if you find their WIIFM (What's In It For Me). More than anything, they want to get re-elected. They need to be able to show how they did good to protect and support those who vote for them. Give them a reason to back the Main Street Defender. Give them several reasons. We have the data you need on

Hang on! And get ready for a really raucous rumble!

1 comment:

Carl Nelson said...

Markey's enthusiasm can be traced to Massachusetts's strong second place in gobbling up SBIR dollars without regard to how many of those dollars go to SBIR junkies that have no hope nor intent of an economic return.

But as long as the federal mission agencies have unrestricted autonomy to pick SBIR winners, it won't matter much how much money SBIR gets because the money will go mostly to mediocre companies who learn to play the federal begging game. If Congress cared about economic results, it would get away from beneficiary squabbling about how much is enough and focus on how to structure SBIR for economic return.

Don't worry, though, Congress has too many important issues to wrestle with to worry about SBIR. It will eventually grease as many squeaking wheels as needed.