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Welcome to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Acceleration and Commercialization Program

About The Program:

The main objective of the program is to support the Connecticut Innovations (CI) strategic mission to "accelerate Connecticut's entrepreneurial technology economy by supporting and making risk capital investments in people, technologies and emerging companies."  Companies may apply to BOTH opportunities.  Applicants CANNOT use the funding for past purchases of any kind.

Two Key Opportunities:

1. Grants: SBIR Phase I State Matching Grants

2. Loans: for SBIR Phase II (or other significant federal R&D funding)*

1. SBIR Phase I - State Matching Grants

This state matching grant program is designed to increase participation of Connecticut-based firms in the newly reauthorized federal SBIR and STTR programs, leading to commercialization and job growth.  This program is designed to help small firms bridge the gap between Phase I funding and subsequent funding such as Phase II or other federal funding, while addressing key requirements for advancing the technology.  It is also desgned to help Phase I winners enhance their chances of winning a Phase II.

Eligibility:
Connecticut-based companies that have won a federal SBIR Phase I award in calendar years 2013 and 2014. (credited to Connecticut)

Funding Uses:
State matching grant funds are intended to support small firms seeking to advance a promising technology that requires additional market development or other validation, and for whom such activities could enhance their chances of attracting additional funding for developing and commercializing a product or service, including Phase II SBIR or STTR funding from federal agencies.  The bulk of the funding MUST be used in Connecticut.

Basic Grant Funding Levels:

Winners of an SBIR Phase I award in 2013 or 2014 will receive a state matching grant of $30,000 once a properly completed application is received, reviewed and approved.

Enhanced Funding

  1. If the small business subcontracts with a Connecticut Research University the state funding may increase by $10,000 above the base award, in order to fund the DIRECT COSTS of the university effort.
  2. If the small business is able to attract additional funding from an SBIR federal agency, the award may increase to $60,000.  (Example: NSF Phase IB requires a $60,000 cash match for an additional $30,000 of federal funding.)  This is awarded on a case-by-case basis.

We Will Require:

1. Contract with federal SBIR agency (confirmation of award)
2. Commercialization plan as submitted with your SBIR/STTR proposal that shows the commercialization path for your technology
3. Project work plan and budget for grant funds -- Additionally, If subcontracting to a university, include their activities in the project plan and budget
4.  Budget
5. Company information
6. Letter/Statement of work from the university - if applicable
7. Letters of Good Standing from 3 state agencies

Limitations:
There is a limit of two grants per Connecticut-based small business per year.  These grants will be subject to available funding. The bulk of the funding MUST be used in Connecticut.

Next Steps:
Eligible applicants should start by setting up a free account via this website.  Once registered, follow the directions carefully.  Our internal review begins once we receive a complete package.  Generally, award decisions will be made within 60 days.  During this time, the applicant may be asked to clarify questions regarding the information submitted. Following award, a standard agreement will be executed, providing for funds disbursement, reporting and CTiHUB participation.  Letters of Good Standing from the Secretary of State, CT Dept. of Revenue Services and the CT Dept of Labor will be requested from approved applicants.

2.  Loans for SBIR Phase II

This program is designed to accelerate commercialization of new technologies and innovations developed by small businesses that have recently won Phase II SBIR/STTR funding OR other significant federal R&D funding*.  The ultimate goal is to remove roadblocks to revenue generation.

Eligibility:

  • Connecticut-based companies that have won a federal SBIR Phase II award in calendar years 2012, or 2013 (credited to Connecticut)
If your company is a small, growth-oriented company whose plans do not include federal R&D funding, and you expect to seek additional risk capital, you may be interested in Connecticut Innovations' Pre-Seed Fund. More Info

Basic Loan Funding Levels:

1.Maximum Loan: $150,000 per company
2. Loan interest: 5% per year (simple interest)
3. Term: Not to exceed 3 years
4. On each year's loan anniversary 1/3 of the loan will be paid back plus 5% simple interest

Funding Uses:
Examples of funding uses can include: further development of prototypes or proofs of concept, hiring new employees/assembling teams, intellectual property development and protection, testing & certification, machine tools, injection molds, business plan development, technology assessments, market analyses/validations/strategies, accounting, legal and other business advisory services.  The bulk of the funding MUST be used in Connecticut.

Leveraging Requirements -- Please Read Carefully:
There are two components to this funding: State and company match.

1. The State will provide a loan to the small business: maximum $150,000*
2. The company must provide a 50% match to the state's funding.  (For example, if the company is requesting $150K from the State, it must also provide a match of $75K)

* On a case by case basis we may elect to convert the Phase II loan to equity or to a grant.  Grant conversions are designed to leverage additional federal funds that require a cash match.
 

Flexible Leveraged Funding Sources:
Funding may come from friends/family, angel investment, venture capital investment, internally, other federal, commercial or third party sources. However, funding that comes from a Connecticut-state funding source, federal funding, or the SBIR grant itself, will not qualify towards a leveraging match.

To Apply for the Loan Program (Application Requirements) We Will Request:

1. Contract with federal agency (confirmation of award)
2. Project work plan including use of funds
3. Budget for project plus 50% matching funds
4. Commercialization plan
5. Company information

Limitations:
There is a limit of one loan per Connecticut-based small business.  These loans are subject to available funding. The bulk of the funding MUST be used in Connecticut.

Next Steps:
Eligible applicants should start by setting up a free account via this website.  Once registered, follow the directions carefully. Our internal review begins once we receive a complete package.  Generally, award decisions will be made within 90 days.  During this time, the applicant may be asked to clarify questions regarding the information submitted.  Letters of Good Standing from the Secretary of State, CT Dept. of Revenue Services and the CT Dept of Labor will be requested from approved applicants as well as a completed W-9 form.

Following award a standard agreement will be issued, providing for the disbursement of funds, reporting requirements and CTiHUB participation. 
Contact Information:
Merrie London: 860-257-2894
merrie.london@ctinnovations.com

*If you would like information regarding receiving a loan based on other, non-SBIR federal funding, please contact:
Deb Santy: 860-257-2893
deb.santy@ctinnovations.com