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Winner’s Circle: What An SBIR Grant Can Do For Your Company

Find out how past recipients used an SBIR grant to take their companies to the next level. Plus, why you should come to the SBIR Road Tour April 16 in Chattanooga

We’ve already told you why you need to hightail it to Chattanooga April 16 for the Small Business Innovation Research Road Tour: you’ll tap into the country’s largest seed fund; get access to program managers and decision makers; and network with other researchers seeking to commercialize their big idea.

But what exactly is a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant and how will it help you? See what a few Tennessee founders who won this grant had to say about how it—and LaunchTN’s SBIR/STTR match —benefited their companies.

Sinead Miller, a biomedical engineer, is CEO and Cofounder of PATH EX, Inc. in Nashville. Her company has a technology that aids in the rapid diagnosis and treatment of sepsis.

“The National Science Foundation SBIR/STTR program has been very important for PATH EX. It is one of the only programs that supports early-stage, innovative ideas that may be too high-risk for some private investors. The program gave PATH EX the support and funding required to complete R&D and map out a strong commercialization plan. Remaining in Tennessee allowed PATH EX to further de-risk the company’s technology through LaunchTN’s SBIR/STTR Matching Fund Program. LaunchTN also significantly helped PATH EX through mentoring and getting plugged in to the statewide network. “

Platt Boyd, an award-winning architect, is CEO and Founder of Branch Technology. His company initiated a new method of large-scale 3D printing that allows for resource stewardship and unprecedented design freedom.

“Our National Science Foundation SBIR grant has catapulted Branch Technology forward. We have used the funds and relationships to develop our initial product, create customer validation, have third party testing, create technical capabilities and begin to scale. The SBIR programs help develop ideas into companies before you can get investor funding for riskier ideas. It gave us the support and runway to start our business and develop it into a thriving venture.”

Dan Close, a genetic engineer, is the Chief Scientific Officer and Cofounder of 490 BioTech in Knoxville. 490 develops continuously light-producing cell lines that reduce the cost of new drug development and environmental quality control monitoring. The company sent two experiments to the International Space Station via the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that launched this month.

“As a small business, securing SBIR funding is crucial for allowing us to compete with entrenched competitors. Just as those funds help us grow our products, the matching funds we received from Launch Tennessee helped us grow our business by allowing us to secure our IP and hire dedicated business personnel.”

Want to join their ranks? Bring your idea to the table and RSVP for the SBIR Road Tour today. We’ll see you April 16 in Chattanooga!

Learn More

Translating research from institutions and universities into the marketplace is key to a strong startup ecosystem. Launch Tennessee offers financial support for grant writing, focused mentorship for life science and advanced energy companies, an SBIR/STTR matching program and more to help researchers accelerate their commercialization efforts.

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