Friday, August 28, 2009

SBIR National Conference coming to Reno in November

Shrinking angel fund investments. Decreasing venture capital support. Limited family and friends savings to draw on. How is one to ramp up a start up company with innovative but unproven technologies?

Why, with SBIR of course! This year's National SBIR Conference will be held on November 2-5 in Reno, Nevada. I'm going to ask my friend Fritz Grupe, the General Conference Chairman to tell you all about it:

Each year more than $2.3 billion in grants and contracts are awarded by eleven federal agencies participating in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs.

Through these competitive programs, small businesses can receive up to $100,000 for feasibility research in Phase I and up to $750,000 for prototype development in Phase II. Some of the participating agencies provide additional financial and management assistance subsequent to Phase II.

Although the competition for this support is stiff – approximately 1 in 10 proposals are funded in Phase I, SBIR and STTR remain as the largest startup fund in the United States.

In order to compete effectively, many entrepreneurs need help in learning about this important program. How can companies find out about the priorities, the varying deadlines and the guidelines for getting into the fray?

The Nevada Small Business Development Center is hosting the 2009 National SBIR / Small Business Technology Transfer Program Conference from November 2 through 5, 2009 in Sparks, Nevada, a Reno suburb. The conference is supported by the 11 federal agencies, all of which will have representatives available to talk to innovators about their product ideas in one-on-one sessions and in general sessions.

In addition, it is expected that another 30 or more prime contractors, SBIR consultants, and other companies will be exhibiting and providing attendees with information on how to proceed.

Separate speed networking sessions enable attendees to interact with other innovative people in three areas of interest: medicine and agriculture, science and defense, and energy and the environment. This enables innovators to meet potential customers and business partners.

The conference includes numerous sessions on related topics including intellectual property protection, proposal writing hints, commercialization, business planning and other sources of funding than these two programs.

Further information on the conference is available at

The SBIR Coach will be speaking and exhibiting at this event. I'd love to see y'all there!

By the way, there are some other SBIR-related events coming up in September:
Federal Lab Consortium Open House - Sept 1-2, San Francisco, CA
NASVF National Conference, Sept 14-16, Oklahoma City, OK
Beyond Phase II - Sept 21-24, Orlando, FL

Rick Shindell published a lengthy SBIR Insider report earlier this week. See it HERE. In addition to the latest news on SBIR Reauthorization, it includes a very nice tribute to the late Senator Edward Kennedy, who was one of SBIR's earliest and greatest champions.

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