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Applications for the Launch Tennessee SBIR/STTR Matching Fund open on July 8

Nashville, TN — Starting July 8, companies that have recently received federal SBIR/STTR awards can apply for Launch Tennessee to provide additional funding through its Matching Fund. 

“Over the past year, we’ve seen a tremendous surge in interest from Tennessee companies pursuing SBIR/STTR funding,” Launch Tennessee Technology Advancement Coordinator Allyn Abadie said.  

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are competitive programs that encourage small businesses to engage federal research/research and development with the potential for commercialization. 

On July 8, Tennessee companies that have received federal SBIR/STTR awards between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024 can apply to the LaunchTN SBIR/STTR Matching Fund.

To be eligible, companies should be startups in Tennessee that contribute to the state’s overall economic development, and they should also align with LaunchTN’s mission to support entrepreneurship and innovation. 

By accepting a Matching Fund award, a company commits to remaining headquartered in Tennessee for at least 24 months post-award and to semiannual reporting with LaunchTN. 

To apply, companies submit a short application to provide company and award information, including proof of award and a use of funds.

Interested companies can learn more about the SBIR/STTR Matching Fund here.

This year alone, Launch Tennessee’s SBIR/STTR support and application assistance programs have helped 33 companies compete for federal awards, and nearly 60 companies have received an SBIR/STTR award from participating federal agencies.

The growing interest underscores the immense potential for innovation within our state, Launch Tennessee Senior Technology Advancement Manager Charles Layne said. 

Quick background — SBIR/STTR Matching Fund
LaunchTN works to bolster startup activity and increase participation from Tennessee entrepreneurs in what’s colloquially known as America’s Seed Fund. 

Every year, 11 participating federal agencies allocate capital totalling $4 billion to the SBIR/STTR programs. 

The programs are the country’s biggest source of early-stage funding for research and development. LaunchTN supports founders’ applications to the federal programs, and if the founders land that funding, then LaunchTN invites the company to apply for matching funds.

As part of LaunchTN’s goal to be Tennessee’s hub for startups and innovation, the SBIR/STTR Matching Fund is a strategic initiative to support entrepreneurs able to secure highly competitive federal awards for the research and development of their innovative technologies to accelerate their commercialization and business development in Tennessee.

By the numbers, 30 companies supported by the SBIR/STTR Matching Fund last year

  • Contributed $186 million in economic impact to the State of Tennessee
  • Supported 188 high quality jobs with an average wage of $97,521 
  • Raised $80 million in follow-on capital and procured an additional $88 million in non-dilutive capital
  • 60% achieved post-revenue status, with an average of $1.1M in annual revenue

Since 2017
To date, companies supported by the LaunchTN SBIR/STTR Matching Fund have:

  • Boasted $894 million in economic impact to the State of Tennessee
  • Created 1,046 high quality jobs with an average wage of $93,801
  • Raised $420 million in follow-on capital
  • Acquired $375 million in non-dilutive capital

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