BBC Wins FAST Grant; Introduces Michigan SBIR FASTconnect
We are very pleased to report that BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting is among 25 organizations in the U.S. to win 2012 FAST Program grants through the Small Business Administration (SBA). The FAST
Program's mission is to improve the participation of small technology firms in the innovation and commercialization of new technology, thereby ensuring that the U.S. remains on the cutting edge of research and development.
BBCetc has been assisting early-stage technology companies in becoming more competitive in the SBIR/STTR programs since 1990. Since 2002, we have managed the State of Michigan's SBIR/STTR Assistance Program, which provides outreach, assessment, training, and one-on-one assistance with proposal preparation to Michigan tech companies at little or no cost.
The FAST award is being matched by the state to make possible a new program called "MI SBIR FASTconnect." The FASTconnect Program's objectives are to:
- Identify, assess, and connect Michigan-based SBIR/STTR awardees to the complex network of commercialization-focused resources in the state.
- Build a mentor network of experienced SBIR awardees to provide insight and mentorship to newer program participants.
- Utilize FASTconnect partners to identify and increase the number of Michigan-based women-and minority-owned companies participating in the SBIR/STTR programs.
We are so grateful to the SBA and the State of Michigan for making possible this new program that provides early commercialization support for Michigan's SBIR/STTR awardees and creates a framework for education on the programs to women-and minority-owned businesses. Watch for more FASTconnect news as we begin developing the program!
- Lisa Kurek, BBCetc Managing Partner
New BBC Principal Consultant Will Lead FASTconnect Program
Kristin Burgard has joined BBCetc as a new principal consultant tasked with managing the FASTconnect Program. Kristin has 13
years of experience in the areas of commercialization, life science
consulting, sales and product management. Prior to joining BBC, she was a mental health advocate, having written extensively on the topic of mood and anxiety disorders affecting women during pregnancy and postpartum. In that capacity, she presented before groups and developed printed materials for both the University of Michigan and St. Joseph Mercy Hospitals in Ann Arbor, MI.
Kristin has also worked for Wayne State University as a technology research assistant and incubator liaison for the Michigan Universities Commercialization Initiative (MUCI). Kristin's career includes consulting on market research with early-stage life science companies in Michigan and serving in various product management and sales capacities with science-based companies in Michigan, California and Missouri. She has a B.S degree in molecular biology from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.B.A. from Michigan State University.
NIH and NSF Deadlines Loom: 4 Tips to Kick-Start Your Proposal
SBIR and STTR proposal submission deadlines are on the horizon with National Institutes of Health (Phase I and II) closing on Dec. 5 and National Science Foundation closing on Dec. 3 (Phase I SBIR) and Dec. 12 (Phase I STTR). Will you have your proposal tidied up and be ready to push "submit" with a few days to spare in case corrections are needed? Get started on the right track by following these basic tips:
- Read the solicitation carefully - There is simply no better advice than to start at the source, which can answer questions and solve mysteries!
- Make certain you are registered - To receive funding you MUST first register at www.SAM.gov and then with the appropriate agency. For NIH, register at eRA Commons and grants.gov, and for NSF, go to fastlane.nsf.gov. If you are already registered, be sure to check that your information is still up to date. Give yourself plenty of time. Registering with SAM (System for Award Mgmt.) can take several weeks.
- Communicate with program managers - Seek guidance! The solicitation (see tip #1!) will contain names and contact information for the applicable program managers. Use them as key resources for reviewing your idea to be sure it fits their mission.
- Line up letters of commitment (e.g., subcontractors, consultants, investors, partners, prospective partners) - If you are using subcontractors or consultants you need letters from each including, but not limited to, the name of project, anticipated time commitment and, for consultants, a fee estimate.
3x3 Tips for Budget Planning
If we'd counted out one more tip above, the next one would have admonished you to get your preliminary budget going. We're all about tipping points this month, so here are yet more for you.
Three things you'll want to do before budgeting begins:
1. Get familiar with the cost considerations:
- Direct (Salaries, consultants, supplies, travel and sub-contractors, etc.)
- Indirect (Facilities, administration, overhead, fringe benefits, etc.)
- Unallowable (legal patent, advertising and marketing, meals, entertainment, lobbying, etc.) LINK 48 CFR Subpart 31.2 (Code of Federal Regulations)
2. Understand the different roles on the project. Who will do what?
- Senior/Key persons
- Other personnel
- Consultant or contractor
- Sub award vs. fee for service
3. Become familiar with limitations/guidelines specific to the solicitation.
- Employee salary limits
- Budget caps or guidelines
- Length of project
Three Facts of SBIR/STTR Budget Life:
1. The budget may not directly affect the reviewers' scoring of a proposal but will always be taken into consideration for overall funding decisions.
2. A well-crafted budget is one that is consistent with and supports the work proposed
3. A poorly developed budget may cause the reviewers to rethink their initial scientific and commercial review.
Three Pieces of Sage Advice:
1. Keep It Real - Veteran reviewers can recognize an inappropriate budget.
2. Keep It Accurate - Budget items can raise questions that cause reviewers to take a second look at the proposed work for compliance.
3. Keep It Honest - Don't pad the budget; don't offend the intelligence of the reviewers.
- Kris Bergman, BBC Consultant, Grants & Contracts Management
Check out Kris' four-part Grants Management webinar series:
How to Prepare a Budget for SBIR/STTR Proposals - Sep 27
What You Need to Know About Gov't. Audits - Oct 4
Practical Strategies for Indirect Rate Dev. - Oct 11 Register
QuickBooks & Compliance for SBIR/STTR Recipients - Oct 18
Leverage is a powerful tool....
NSF SBIR/STTR Awardees Should Consider Phase IB & IIB Options
If you're a National Science Foundation awardee, this is an opportunity you should not ignore. NSF has several programs to provide supplemental funding to SBIR/STTR awardees to help bridge the gap between Phase I and Phase II, while encouraging partnering as a means to increase the potential for successful technology commercialization. In a recent "Dear Colleague Letter", the agency announced that it will again offer the Phase IB Option for fiscal year 2013.
The Phase IB option can provide additional funds to Phase I grantees that are able to obtain third party investment to support the project. The objectives of the Phase IB option are:
- To extend the R&D efforts beyond the current grant to meet the requirements of a third party investor,
- To accelerate the Phase I project to the commercialization stage, and
- To enhance the overall commercial potential of the subsequent Phase II project.
The Phase IB option extends the Phase I grant for six months, and the combined Phase I and IB project will typically not exceed one year for the SBIR grant and one-and a-half years for the STTR grant. The Phase IB option only applies to Phase I grants that are active on the day these supplemental requests are due.
For Highlights for the NSF Phase IB and IIB Supplements
|upcoming. . . |
DoE SBIR/STTR Ph I - Oct 16
NASA SBIR/STTR Ph I -
HHS SBIR Ph I/II Contract Solicitation - Nov 13
HHS SBIR/STTR Ph I/II- Dec 5
DoD SBIR - Jan 16
SBIR/STTR 101: Introduction & Overview
SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep-NSF Focus
SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep-NIH Focus
SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep-DoE Focus
SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep-DoD/DoE Focus
SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep - NSF,DoD, DoE, USDA
- Test the SBIR/STTR Waters Before Diving into More Training
- Practical Strategies for Indirect Rate Development
- QuickBooks & Compliance for SBIR/STTR Funding Recipients
Oct 31 - Commercialization Planning for DoD
Nov 6 - Tips on Electronic Submission to NIH
Nov 27 - Recap of SBIR/STTR Nat'l Conference
Interested in pursuing NASA funding?
NASA's SBIR/STTR Program has two open programmatic solicitations (opened Sept. 17 with a Nov. 29 deadline), with Phase I awards to be funded in Fiscal Year 2013.
First is the General SBIR/STTR Solicitation with a total of 20 topics and 75 subtopics in the SBIR Program, and a total of 13 topics and 20 subtopics in the STTR Program. The award sizes associated with these 75 subtopics in SBIR and 20 Subtopics in STTR are $125,000 for Phase I and $750,000 for Phase II.
Second is the Select SBIR Solicitation, a new initiative this year with a total of 7 "Select Topics" applicable to NASA's Select SBIR Program only. The award sizes associated with these 7 subtopics are $200,000 for Phase I and $1,500,000 for Phase II.
These two solicitations share a common open period and proposals to both will utilize the NASA SBIR/STTR Electronic Handbook. They are otherwise separate, requesting proposals for different technologies, and having different objectives.
Can't Make the Nat'l. SBIR/STTR
Conference? Join Us for the Recap.
With "Crack the Code" as its theme, this year's National SBIR/STTR Conference (in Portland, OR, Nov. 13-15) is designed to promote discovery of the key issues to successful grant applications. BBC's Lisa Kurek and Becky Aistrup will be there attending keynotes and break-outs, making connections and getting answers. They will report back, answer your questions, and offer their insights on information coming out of the conference during a FREE
webinar on Nov. 27 from 2 to 3 p.m (ET). Have a question you'd like them research for you at the conference? Let them know
, and they'll do their best to get an answer.
who we are
BBCetc is nationally recognized for its expertise in helping technology-based entrepreneurs to win federal grants and contracts through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs and to use that funding strategically to propel growth. BBC-assisted proposals have a success rate 2-3 times the national average across several federal agencies. Through training courses and one-on-one consulting, experienced and BBC consultants guide client companies through the entire entrepreneurial continuum of proposal preparation, grant management, commercialization and business planning, and obtaining follow-on funding. For more information, email or call us at 734-930-9741.