Pursuit REvision
  April/May 2014

After 12 years in the house with the green awnings on Ann Arbor's Main Street, BBCetc is moving to a new office space around the corner and up the street.  As of May 16, our new address will be 2155 Jackson Rd., Ste. 2, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Please make a note of it and if you're in our area, drop by and say hello!
P.S. No change to our phone number; it's still 734-930-9741.
Strategic Partnering for SBIR-Stage Companies:  
Types of Strategic Alliances

This is the second in a BBCetc series on various aspects of finding, consummating, and maintaining a productive inter-company partnership. Read part one. 
Strategic alliances come in all shapes and sizes and adapt to a variety of purposes. The most common include:
  • Pooled Purchasing
  • Supplier Partnering
  • Distribution Partnering
  • Franchising and licensing agreements
  • R&D Partnerships (sometimes via joint ventures) 

Relationships between corporations and small technology companies generally fall into the latter two categories. Although distribution partnering does occur, most SBIR-stage companies are still developing their products and therefore are not yet ready for distribution partners.

Technology licensing agreements and R&D partnerships can be a source of operating capital for early-stage companies, especially when up-front payments are involved. However, in many cases partnerships with large corporations can bring benefits more valuable than cash. Significant credibility can accrue to an unknown technology company that announces a partnership with a well-known corporation, and that exposure often leads to inquiries from other market players.

With an established market presence, a corporate partner brings not only intelligence about critical market trends but often a different, and important, point of view about customer needs. Additionally, the partner can offer first-hand experience by opening doors to influential prospective customers that the technology firm could not easily approach on its own.

Operational expertise is not typically a strong suit of early-stage companies, but one in which larger companies excel. Their talent and experience can help smaller partners navigate the rough patches in product development or outsourcing with fewer spills.

Certainly, alliances are not without their potential pitfalls. Seattle entrepreneur, T.A. McCann, offers some words of caution. To avoid distraction he advises postponing partnering until you're confident of your product-customer fit, and he says don't partner with other startups. They might know less about the customer than you do.

Michael Kurek, Partner, BBCetc

Check out Michael's OpEd for Detroit's digital publication, Metromode: "Minority/Women Tech Entrepreneurs: Don't Overlook Federal R&D Grant Money"


Dept of Homeland Security SBIR Solicitation Released
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued its solicitation for the 14.2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. DHS's Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) participate in the SBIR Program. This solicitation covers the S&T Directorate's SBIR Program only. S&T's SBIR topics generally address the needs of the seven DHS Operational Units: U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Secret Service, as well as First Responders. Phase I projects may propose a budget up to $100,000 and a six-month time period.

The "open" period when direct contact with Technical Points of Contact has passed, however, questions may still be submitted via email through May 7, 2014 at STSBIR.PROPOSALS@hq.dhs.gov. Answers will be posted on the DHS SBIR Program website. Proposals must be submitted via DHS's electronic online proposal submission system by May 21, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Contact BBC for assistance registering your company, preparing your proposal, or submitting your proposal online.

Back to top
Is Your Unfunded Application Still Innovative After Two Submissions?  
On April 17, NIH released their new resubmission policy that may affect SBIR and STTR applicants. Before that date, NIH permitted one resubmission (A1) of an unfunded application. The extension on the NIH grant number could follow the pattern (A0, A1).  A first-time submission is informally referred to as an A0, and the first resubmission is known as an A1.

For all application due dates after April 16, 2014, following an unsuccessful resubmission (A1) application, applicants may submit the same idea as a new (A0) application for the next appropriate new application due date (see NOT-OD-14-082).  Read on...

Thanks to Betty Royster, SBIR/STTR Communications Specialist, National Institutes of Health, for providing this information. roysterbr@mail.nih.gov 
Back to top 
Submitting to DOD? Now is the Time to Talk to Your TPOC 
The DoD has pre-released its FY2014.2 SBIR solicitation including topics from the Army (11 topics), Navy (42 topics), DARPA (6 topics with 4 Direct to Phase II), DLA (1 topic), DMEA (1 topic) and MDA (22 topics). Click here for BBC's quick overview of topic titles. The solicitation opens and proposals will be accepted starting May 23, 2014 and closes June 25, 2014 at 6:00 a.m. EST.
Direct contact is allowed with the TPOCs/Topic Authors from now through May 22 only. Their contact information is listed on the topic description pages. From May 23 until June 11, questions must be posted online at SITIS. Proposals are due at 6 a.m. ET on June 25, 2014. Full topic descriptions and instructions.    
Back to top 
who we are
BBCetc is nationally recognized for its expertise in helping technology-based entrepreneurs win federal funding through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs and use it strategically to propel growth.  BBCetc capabilities include: 
  • Commercialization Planning
  • Research Grant Assistance
  • SBIR/STTR Training
  • Grants/Contracts Management 
  • Tech-Based Economic
    Development Programs  
Copyright 2014 BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting, LLC

follow us
  twitter     BBC Blog        
  training on tap

Proposal Prep for NIH

May 14-15 - Ann Arbor, MI    

May 19-20 - Chicago, IL 

July 14-15 - Lebanon, NH   


SBIR/STTR 101: Introduction/Overview

May 9 - New York, NY 

May 21 - Sterling Hts.,MI

July 16 - Kalamazoo, MI 


SBIR Basics & Proposal Prep for USDA

June 25 - E. Lansing, MI  


Agency Similarities & Differences

July 15 - Lebanon, NH 



May 6 - Submitting to DOD? Learn to Talk the Talk!
May 7 - Budget Prep for DOD
May 15 - SBIR/STTR for Start Ups: Building a Quality Team
May 20 - SBIR Program Overview: Dept. of Homeland Security
June 4 - How to Prepare a Budget for Your SBIR/STTR Proposal
June 11 - What You Need to Know About Gov't. Audits
June 18 - Practical Strategies for Indirect Rate Development
June 25 - QuickBook for SBIR Awardees
July 1 - USDA SBIR Checklist
July 9 - Policies and Procedures for SBIR Awardees

- closes May 21

2014.2 SBIR - closes June 25  

Nat'l. Science Foundation SBIR 14-539 - closes June 10


Nat'l. Science Foundation STTR 14-540 - closes June 11  


HHS (NIH, FDA, CDC, ACF) PHS 2014-2 Omnibus - Closes August 5 


USDA SBIR will open in June (TBA) with an October 2 deadline. 


More Solicitation Dates 

Save the Date 
Navy Opportunity Forum, June 2-4, Crystal City, VA

National SBIR/STTR Conf. June 16-18, Washington, D.C. 

NIH Regional Seminar, June 25-27, Baltimore, MD
 more funding  
NIH Special Solicitation for Early Stage Development of Technologies in Biomedical Computing, Informatics, and Big Data Science
Standard SBIR submission dates apply through expiration May 8, 2017
Investigators may target one or more of the following four themes:
1. Collaborative environments and technologies
2. Data integration: 
3. Analysis and modeling methodologies
4. Computer science and statistical approaches
More information
  heads up 
eRACommons will be upgrading its electronic Research Administration (eRA) systems late this month to support recognition of Unicode characters, including support of Greek symbols.  The upgrade requires that all eRA systems, including the eRA Commons and ASSIST, be offline for the three-day Memorial Day weekend. To minimize negative impact on those who may be preparing applications for due dates between May 25-28, those deadlines have been extended to May 29. See NOT-OD-14-070 for more details. Note that your incoming application should still avoid using this character set in the actual form fields, as Grants.gov does not yet support this character set. At the end of May, the characters you include in your research strategy will carry through into eRA systems.