Companies hear “free money” and jump at the opportunity to apply for SBIR funding—without fully understanding the SBIR Program. They think, “If the SBIR program provides money that I don’t have to pay back (and I don’t have to dilute my equity), then it is right for me.” Not always the case.
Yes, SBIR funding is ideal for small companies with technical expertise but limited resources to pursue good ideas—the technology is so innovative, other sources of funding may not be available. Just remember, the research needs to be innovative—meaning “revolutionary research” leading to the use of a new technology or adapting a proven technology to a totally new application, but it also needs to have the interest of one of the agencies.
So, when might SBIR funding right?
- When your company’s vision matches something the government needs developed. Don’t let the tail wag the dog!
- When the development time-frame for your proposed technology is consistent with the SBIR time-frame—if you need to get your product to market in the next twelve months, now might not be the time for SBIR.
- When you’re developing a platform technology which potentially has multiple applications—maybe use SBIR funds to pursue other applications while continuing the company’s existing development work in parallel.
- When you don’t want to borrow money or loose equity in your company—with SBIR funds, the company conducts the proposed R&D while retaining IP rights.
Let Georgia’s SBIR Assistance Program help you determine if SBIR is right for your company. If you’re a Georgia company, the staff of the SBIR Assistance Program is available to discuss your research and the SBIR program in detail: