State Support for Startups: SBIR Grant Applicants and Awardees

 

The SBIR/STTR program is an important source of non-dilutive funding for small companies. These funds can be further leveraged with state programs that match a portion of grant awards. The table below lists current state (and one county) programs that work with SBIR/STTR awardees to provide access to additional funding. Matching programs for the states of Illinois and Maryland are very new and do not have a website. All states on the list accept applicants with both SBIR and STTR grants, except Hawaii that only funds companies with SBIR grants.  Delaware and New Jersey offer Phase II applicants ‘bridge’ funds to cover the gap between completion of a Phase I award and the start of a Phase II award. Several states have Phase 0 funding as well that can at least cover assistance with grant support, such as what ScienceDocs delivers. As many of the state programs depend on legislative budgets, the pool of money available each year can vary, and may even be temporarily suspended. 

 

In addition to meeting the SBIR/STTR definition of a small business, applicants must follow a set of regulations set by the funding program. Applicants should be aware of specific state matching program policies and procedures to aid in financial planning and effectively leverage state funds. Here are a few important areas to consider:

 

  • Application Window: There can be a very short amount of time (less than one month) between a funding announcement and the application submission due date. If the deadlines are not listed on the state website, contact the program manager and find out when the opening and closing dates for applications are anticipated. Add your email address to a notification list to be alerted when applications are accepted, and check the grant website frequently for funding opportunity updates. Alternatively, if the state has a rolling application process rather than set deadlines, there is a chance that funds may be depleted before an application is submitted. A company may need to consider coordinating the timing of an SBIR/STTR submission with a state deadline to optimally take advantage of state budgeting periods.
  • Preferential Applicants: The state may take steps to encourage certain companies to apply for matching funds. First time SBIR/STTR applicants may receive preferential treatment. Similarly, applications from female, minority, rural or veteran owned companies may be preferred.
  • Application Timing: Take steps to understand the state application process well in advance of submitting an SBIR/STTR grant application. Some states require that a company submit an application in advance of an SBIR/STTR award, and others require notice of an award first before applying for the state match.
  • Acceptable Expenses: Check if there are any restrictions as to what state funds can be used for. To access state funds, your company may have to incur an expense, submit an invoice and wait for payment.
  • Payment Timeframes: The state funds may only be available for a relatively short time, and expenses may be restricted to the SBIR/STTR grant period. The distribution of state funds may be tied to successful completion of research or development milestones.
  • Geographic Limitations: The state will likely require your company to either rent or own a physical location in the state (or specific counties), and have a certain percentage of employees that work in the state. Funds may need to be returned if your company relocates out of state within a set period of time after receiving a match.
  • Limitation on Awards: States may limit how many matching awards a company can receive.

 

Although there are constraints with SBIR/STTR state matching funds, the amounts can be substantial and well worth the effort to follow through with an application.

 

 

State by state support for startups:

 

 

State

 

Program

SBIR/STTR Support for:

Phase I

Phase II

Alabama

Alabama Innovation Corporation SBIR/STTR Matching Grant Program

+

+

Arkansas

Arkansas SBIR Matching Grant

+

+

Delaware

Delaware Technical Innovation Program

+

Transition grant available to applicants

Florida

Florida High Tech Corridor Matching Grants Research Program

 

+

Requires collaboration with UCF or USF researchers and presence in the High Tech Corridor region

+

Requires collaboration with UCF or USF researchers and presence in the High Tech Corridor region

Hawaii

Hawaii Technology Development

Corporation SBIR Program

+

SBIR only

pending legislation

+

SBIR only

pending legislation

Illinois

Illinois SBIR and STTR Matching Program (new in 2021)

+

Indiana

Elevate Ventures SBIR/STTR

Matching Program

+

+

Iowa

BioConnect Iowa SBIR/STTR

Outreach Program

+

+

Kentucky

Kentucky SBIR/STTR Matching Funds Award Program

+

+

Maine

Maine Technology Institute Funding

+

Funds available to applicants to accelerate business maturity and development

Maryland

Maryland SBIR and STTR Incentive Program (new in 2021)

+

+

Maryland

(Montgomery County)

Montgomery County SBIR/STTR Matching Grant

+

+

Massachusetts

MassVentures SBIR Targeted Technologies

(START) Program

+

 

Michigan

Michigan SBDC’s Emerging Technology Fund

+

+

Minnesota

Launch Minnesota SBIR/STTR

Matching Grants Program

+

+

Montana

Montana SBIR/STTR Matching Funds Program

+

+

Nebraska

Nebraska SBIR/STTR Grant Program

+

+

New Jersey

New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program

+

+

  Bridge funds also available to applicants

New Mexico

New Mexico Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant

+

+

North Carolina

One North Carolina Small Business Program

 

+

Oregon

Business Oregon’s SBIR/STTR

Matching Grants Program

+

+

Rhode Island

Innovate Rhode Island Small Business Fund Matching Grant

+

+

South Carolina

South Carolina Research Authority  SBIR/STTR Matching Grant

+

South Dakota

South Dakota Proof of Concept SBIR Supplement Program

+

Tennessee

Launch TN SBIR/STTR

Matching Fund Program

+

dependent on new legislation

+

dependent on new legislation

Virginia

Commonwealth Commercialization Fund SBIR and STTR Matching Funds Programs

+

+

West Virginia

West Virginia SBIR/STTR Matching Grant Program

+

dependent on new legislation

+

dependent on new legislation

Wisconsin

SBIR Advance SBIR/STTR Matching Grant Program

+

+

Wyoming

Wyoming Business Council SBIR Matching Program

+

+

 

This table was prepared in January 2022. As programs change frequently, check websites for complete and current information.

 

Keywords: SBIR and STTR matching programs, state assistance for SBIR/STTR awardees

 

 

 

NIH SBIR Grant Reviewer

Learn more about NIH SBIR Grant Editor Dr. Marcy

 

Grant Proposals – The Process

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