MN-SBIR Entrepreneurial Training

MN-SBIR offers training and education to support firms seeking funding through the highly competitive SBIR/STTR programs.  We offer courses from getting started to proposal preparation to value proposition and technology commercialization.  The current curriculum includes:

  • Overview of the SBIR/STTR Programs (In-Person)
  • Overview of the SBIR/STTR Programs (Webinar)
  • National Institutes of Health SBIR/STTR Phase I Proposal Preparation – From Draft to Submission
  • National Science Foundation SBIR/STTR Phase I Proposal Preparation – From Draft to Submission
  • Innovation Commercialization and Startup Seminars (In collaboration with the U of M Min-Corps)

For all MN-SBIR workshops: Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.

Cancellation Policy
Training dates are subject to change. If the attendance is less than five people, the training session will be cancelled no less than 72 hours before the training date.

Overview of the SBIR/STTR Programs (In-Person Training)

The federal Small Business Innovation Research / Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs seek to transform scientific discovery into societal and economic benefit by catalyzing private sector commercialization of technological innovations. The programs increase the incentive and opportunity for startups and small businesses to undertake cutting-edge, high-quality scientific research and development.

Eleven federal agencies provide grants or contracts in phases: a proof-of-concept / feasibility grant (6-12 months, up to $225k) can potentially be followed by a longer development grant or contract (2 years, up to $1.5M). Some agencies offer follow-on funding beyond the second phase.

You can think of an SBIR/STTR grant/contract as angel funding, except it is non-dilutive and federally funded. The company retains the worldwide rights to the intellectual property. By increasing the incentive and opportunity for small firms to undertake cutting-edge, high-risk, high-quality scientific, engineering, or science and engineering education research, the SBIR/STTR programs seek to transform scientific discovery into both social and economic benefit by emphasizing private sector commercialization. The workshop will cover the basics of the programs and how to get started. $50 per person.

SBIR/STTR Proposal Preparation (Phase I)

National Institutes of Health SBIR/STTR Phase I Proposal Preparation: From Draft to Submission

This is a hands-on course!  The course will provide an overview of the NIH SBIR/STTR Programs, guidance and assistance on required electronic registrations to submit a proposal; budgeting and indirect cost rates; identification and selection of the appropriate institutes and study sections (reviewer’s); developing your specific aims and a scope of work; development of a project timeline; access to scientific and technical literature to support your proposed project, commercialization planning, etc.  This course is ideal for first-time proposers.

Details will be announced soon.

Testimonial:

I highly recommend this course for anyone who plans to apply for an SBIR grant.  As a first-time proposal writer, the course provided extremely valuable guidance for navigating the government funding agencies.  There are many written and unwritten rules regarding SBIR grants, and Pat shares he extensive experience to set course participants up for success.  Furthermore, the course format enables wonderful networking opportunities.  The breadth of course participant backgrounds and projects further helps to improve perspective on the grant-writing process.  Finally, Pat’s willingness to provide feedback on proposals, especially as deadlines loom, ensures that the final proposal is professional and complete.  I can’t imagine trying to write a successful SBIR proposal without this class and Pat Dillon’s assistance!

~~~Dr. Cora Leibig, CEO, Chromatic 3D Materials

National Science Foundation SBIR/STTR Phase I Proposal Preparation: From Draft to Submission (December 2017 deadline)

Are you ready for the December NSF proposal deadline? MN-SBIR is offering a hands-on course to help first-time proposers.  The NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I proposal is vastly different than other federal agencies proposal requirements.  The NSF proposal requires a commercialization section that is comprised of seven pages followed by eight pages for the R&D plan.  The course will provide an overview of the NSF SBIR/STTR Programs; guidance and assistance on the electronic registrations; budgeting and indirect cost rates; developing your technical objectives and a scope of work; development of a project timeline; access to scientific and technical literature to support your proposed project, commercialization planning, etc.  This course is ideal for first-time proposers.

Dates to be released soon.

Innovation Commercialization and Startup Seminars

MN-SBIR is collaborating with the University of Minnesota, MIN-CORPS, Minnesota Innovation Corps, to bring their nationally recognized Innovation Commercialization and Startup Seminars to non-U participants.  MIN-Corps offers a full suite of non-credit seminars on technology commercialization and innovation-based startups.  The Spring 2017 curriculum is listed below:

Innovation Commercialization Bootcamps

This course will discuss commercialization introduction, including value proposition design, customer discovery & intellectual property.  Courses have started.  Check back for Fall 2017 dates.

  • Science & Engineering – Jan 27, 10 am – 4 pm, Register here.
  • Agriculture & Environment – Jan 30, 10 am – 4 pm, Register here
  • Medical (Twin Cities) – Feb 8, 9 am – 3 pm, Register here
  • Medical (Hormel Institute, Austin MN) – Mar 14, 10 am – 4 pm Register here

Value Proposition Design Workshops

Four hands-on sessions cover the following: product-market fit, customer discovery, pathway to commercialization, market assessment.

  • Science & Engineering – Feb 10, Feb 17, Mar 10, Mar 24,1-4 pm Register here
  • Medical – Mar 8, Mar 22, Apr 5, Apr 12, 12-3pm Register here

Emerging Opportunities Forums

  • Securing Intellectual Property, Feb 21, 4-6 pm, Register here
  • Agriculture & Environment Opportunities & Showcase, Apr 3, 4-6 pm, Register here
  • Funding a Startup, Apr 18, 4-6 pm, Register here
  • Founders Day Showcase, May 9, 5-7 pm, Register here

Strategy Clinics

Current and future science and tech entrepreneurs share a meal, hear from experts, and seek advice.

  • Customer Acquisition, Jan 25, 5-7pm, Register here
  • Startup Boards of Directors & Advisors, Feb 22, 5-7 pm, Register here
  • Sourcing & Operations, Mar 29, 5-7 pm, Register here
  • Competitive Differentiation Apr 26 5-7 pm Register here

Office for Technology Commercialization Venture Center Seminars

For UMN faculty, staff and students considering a startup based on inventions emerging from their research.

  • How to Build a Business around a University Invention, Feb 8, 5-7:30 pm, Register here
  • Bench to Business: Context, Capabilities & Collaboration, Apr 12, 5-7:30 pm, Register here

MIN-Corps is the University of Minnesota site of the National Innovation Corps, supported by the National Science Foundation.  More info at this website: http://mincorps.umn.edu/ or contact Carla Pavone at pavo0003@umn.edu.