Is SBIR/STTR a Fit for Me? Take the T.E.S.T

Is SBIR/STTR a Fit for Me?  Take the T.E.S.T

Here is a simple test with some Go – No Go criteria to see if SBIR/STTR is a fit for your company.  We will look at:

T – Topic

E – Eligibility

S – Story

T – Team

Topic – SBIR/STTR Topic-Technology Fit

There are usually well over 1000 topics every year spread out over 11 different federal agencies and around 70 separate solicitations.  You need to find a topic of interest to one of the agencies that your technology addresses.  You need a Great Idea that is Innovative and Significant.

  • Is it an SBIR or an STTR topic?
  • Which agencies?
  • What are their topics of interest?
  • What are their deadlines?
  • What are their requirements?

Eligibility – Legal and Practical

Legally you must be a for-profit company located in US.  The company must be >50% owned/controlled by US citizens, permanent resident aliens or domestic business concerns, OR under some circumstances,  Multiple domestic VCs, hedge funds or private equity firms.  There must be fewer than 500 employees (including affiliates).  Practically in order to compete, you must have the staff and facilities to prepare scholarly documents and execute a peer-reviewed caliber research project.  Or you must identify these resources as new hires, partners, consultants, and subcontractors.

Story – What is your SBIR/STTR “Story“?

You need to be able to weave a compelling story that has the following components: 

  • You identified a significant need/problem and developed an innovative solution that has commercial promise. 
  • There is still a good deal of technical risk but you have defined 2-3 research questions to answer that will demonstrate feasibility of your approach. 
  • And the result will be a high impact commercial product for which you have identified a path to market.

Team – What Makes a Winning Team?

You need to have a highly qualified Principal Investigator who directs the project and is well trained in the topic.  This person has the experience to run a research project and their primary employment is with the small business (usually).  There needs to be a skilled Scientific/Technical Team often joined by collaborators.  It is helpful to have Strategic Advisors and Partners, perhaps Consultants – Market, Technical, Business, and the ability to secure letters of support from customers, investors, and the strategic partners.

 

Can you pass the TEST?  for help with your SBIR/STTR application.