Read the full press release here

The Wisconsin Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) has received a prestigious award from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for achieving significant economic impact in advancing small technology businesses.

For the past 39 years, Tibbetts Awards have been given to organizations, companies and people for driving innovation and creating jobs through the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

“The Tibbetts Award is like the Emmys for our sector,” said CTC consultant Idella Yamben. “We appreciate the recognition of our excellence and dedication to improving awareness, access and competitiveness for the $3.5 billion SBIR program.”

“The Center for Technology Commercialization receives tremendous support from the state of Wisconsin through the UW System and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC),” said Mark Lange, executive director of the Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship, CTC’s home. “The Tibbetts Award is a terrific affirmation of that support while highlighting the amazing contributions of the CTC team and the flourishing innovation ecosystem in Wisconsin.”

A beneficiary of this robust ecosystem is another Tibbetts award winner and CTC client, COnovate, formerly SafeLi, a UW-Milwaukee tech startup.

Tibbetts Awards are presented to those who exemplify the spirit and intent of the SBIR/STTR programs:

Stimulate technological innovation.

Work with small business to meet federal research and development needs.

Encourage diverse participation in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from federal R&D.

Foster technology transfer through cooperative R&D between small businesses and research institutions.

The CTC’s submission highlighted three focus areas that drive SBIR outcomes in Wisconsin:

Emphasis on programs to help clients manage competitive submissions;

Emphasis on Lean Startup curriculum to develop strategic business thinking and access to continued funding; and

An inclusive outreach strategy to broaden awareness and participation in the SBIR program. 

Programs like SBIR Advance and SBIR Ready were the result of these efforts by the CTC team, including David Linz, who won a Tibbetts Award in 2016 and retired in May.

The submission also highlighted this diverse team of scientists and business leaders who have a combined 20 years of teaching and mentorship training.

“CTC’s dedication to helping innovators navigate a complex and highly competitive federal program is a tremendous asset for Wisconsin,” said Aaron Hagar, WEDC’s Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “This award is of no surprise to those of us who work with the CTC team, and I am excited to see their recognition as a national model for supporting small business success.”