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The Phase 0 Technical Assistance Program is targeted toward early stage research and development with the potential for commercialization. Only US based science-based women, socially and economically disadvantaged and small businesses are eligible to apply. The Program helps these businesses seek investments from the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. These Programs do not take equity in your company — you retain full control over your team, the direction of your work, and your intellectual property. To get started, we require each Company to complete the steps below before submitting a Phase 0 application. The steps are:
- Review SBIR/STTR Self-Assessment to assess your fit with the SBIR/STTR Programs;
- Review the SBIR.gov website and read the SBIR Online Tutorials; and
- Attend a free SBIR Group Discussion at MHTA (offered monthly).
After completion of these steps, the Company is invited to formally submit an application for consideration. The Phase 0 process is:
The Phase 0 application consists of five questions by describing:
1) the company and team (scientific and business):
a. Describe the company founders or key participants in this proposed project.
b. Describe your vision for the company and the company’s expected impact over the next five years.
2) the market opportunity, value proposition, and customers:
a. Where do you intend to market your product?
b. What is the potential size of the customer market? Approximately how many people will benefit from this product?
c. What kind of relationships have you developed with potential customers?
d. Who are the potential competitors in the market? Who are potential partners?
e. What steps have you taken towards intellectual property protection?
3) The technology/innovation:
a. Is the technology state-of-the-art?
b. How does it compare to existing or alternate technologies?
c. Has the technological innovation been reviewed by outside sources and experts to evaluate its scientific and commercial potential?
4) Key technology risks to be overcome by the project, as well as:
a. Briefly describe the innovation. At what stage of technical development is the innovation?
b. Describe the key technical challenges and risks in bringing the innovation to market.
5) The competition.
MN-SBIR’s peer review process engages, when necessary, scientific and/or business reviewers to review applications for approval or disapproval. An approved applicant will be mentored on the development of an 18-month SBIR/STTR Roadmap (a planning tool); automatic attendance into the appropriate Proposal Preparation Course, hands-on proposal development and review assistance, proposal submission assistance and cost-shared access to MIN-CORPS (I-Corps Courses) with 50% financial support from MN-SBIR. If disapproved, written feedback will be given to the applicant along with referrals to other small business resources, when appropriate. Disapproved applicants are encouraged to reapply after substantial changes or information is acquired.