The Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) is offering a matching grant of up to $100,000 to provide additional assistance to companies in the process of completing a project in the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

This is the 19th round of SBIR Advance funding dedicated by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) since SBIR Advance began in 2014.

“Our SBIR Advance Phase I program is aimed at helping companies prepare solid commercialization plans for competitive SBIR/STTR Phase II proposals,” said Brian Walsh, SBIR Advance program manager. “Over the past eight years, 128 awards totaling nearly $10.4 million have been awarded. Those business reported obtaining $62.7 million in follow on funding since receiving the SBIR Advance matching grants. The SBIR Advance Phase II program, established in 2019, is focused on helping companies gain the traction needed to attract investors and strategic partners.”

Deadlines are quickly approaching:

To be eligible, companies must have an SBIR/STTR project in either Phase I or Phase II of funding. All companies must have a significant presence in Wisconsin to be considered for the grant. Funds can be used for business and market development, customer validation, intellectual property work or other areas needed to speed product commercialization.

Applicants should note these important dates:

  • Week of May 9, 2022: Companies chosen for funding will be notified by this time.
  • Week of June 6, 2022: Phase I match awardees must be prepared to start the Lean Startup Program. The course runs through Sept. 1, 2022 and is administered by the CTC. It teaches companies how to incorporate their technologies into a validated business model and defines the best possible target markets.

“We are excited to get to know a new group of companies and guide them on their journey to commercialization,” Walsh said. “Teams in the upcoming round will learn to focus on their business models as they achieve key commercial milestones. In addition, we will draw upon enhanced relationships with the Wisconsin investor community to elevate our cohort’s readiness for the follow-on funding that is so critical to early stage success.”

For more details on the SBIR Advance program and current eligibility requirements, contact Walsh at [email protected].

SBIR Advance is part of a Start-Seed-Scale (S3) initiative WEDC is pursuing with the help of the UW System and other business leaders throughout the state to remove barriers to high-tech commercialization. Under the S3 umbrella, WEDC and its economic development partners are implementing financial and operational assistance programs designed specifically to address Wisconsin’s business startup and seed-funding challenges. One such initiative — also a collaborative effort between WEDC and the UW System — is the Ideadvance Seed Fund, also managed by the CTC. Selected SBIR Advance participants undergo Lean Startup training to assist with their SBIR Phase II applications.

Read the full press release here