NSF SBIR program and I-Corps

NSF SBIR program and I-Corps






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NSF SBIR program and I-Corps NSF SBIR program and I-Corps Presentation Transcript

  • The National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs Errol Arkilic [email_address] Office of Integrative Activities Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships
  • Sources of Funding for Innovation 12/22/11 Valhalla Confidential Venture Capital Angels / Friends & Family Private Equity Company Profits Non-profits / Grants The Government Commercial Banks
  • Small Business Investors Accelerate Innovation Innovation Spectrum ENG NSF GOALI I/UCRC PFI ERC NSF STTR NSF SBIR Industry Valley of Death -----------II-R---- ------II-B--------------------- ------------- Supplements Resources Available ($) Discovery Development Commercialization Level of Development Unbridgable Gulf of Death I-Corps
  • The design, invention, development and/or implementation of new or altered products, services, processes, systems, organizational structures, or business models for the purpose of creating new value for customers and financial returns for the firm Innovation* *Innovation Measurement A Report to the Secretary of Commerce January 2008
  • NSF Mission
    • To promote the progress of science and engineering; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense
  • What is your Enterprise Risk Profile? (are you NSF SBIR material) Venture Capital Threshold Angel Capital Threshold Economic Development Funds Threshold NSF SBIR/STTR Threshold Technology Risk Market Risk People Risk Finance Risk Friends, Family (and Fools) Threshold Senior Debt Threshold
  • SBIR Program Information
    • Funding Level
      • NSF ~$120 million at NSF (for Phase I, Phase II, Phase IIB combined)
      • Federal ~$2.6 billion total in FY11 (11 agencies)
      • SBIR = 2.5% and STTR = 0.3% of NSF budget
    • Applicant must be a for-profit Small Business
    • (500 or fewer employees) located in the U.S.
    • At least 51% U.S.- owned by individuals and independently operated
    • PI’s primary employment is with small business during the project
  • Funding Criteria
    • Must be high-payback innovations involving high risk* and commercial potential
    • Demonstrate strategic partnerships with research collaborators, customers and equity investors
    • We do NOT fund
      • Evolutionary optimization of existing products and processes or modifications to broaden the scope of an existing product, process or application
      • Analytical or “market” studies of technologies
      • * From the market viewpoint
  • NSF SBIR Program
    • $120 M/year in chunks of $150K (Phase I) and $500K (Phase II)
    • Broad topics
      • Biotech and Chemical Technologies – 3 Program Managers
      • Information and Communications Technology – 3 Program Managers
      • Nano/Advanced Materials and Manufacturing – 4 Program Managers
      • Education Applications – 1 Program Manager
    • Placing bets on high-risk/high-impact innovation research
      • NOT Basic Research
      • NOT Equity Investment
      • NOT contract R&D
    • Solicitation released twice per year (in Sept. and March)
    • Two due dates: Dec. and June
    • All proposals are externally-reviewed
            • Reviewers: Equity Investors, Industrial, Academic
            • Reviews: Technology and Commercial reviewers
    • Dialog encouraged throughout the process
    • Decision made three-four months after proposal receipt
    • Cash in the bank 6 mos after proposal receipt
    • After the cash, immersion in NSF network
  • Review Criteria (Technical)
    • Intellectual Merit
      • A sound approach to establish technical & commercial feasibility
      • Technical Team qualifications
      • Sufficient access to resources
      • Reflects “state-of-the-art”
  • Review Criteria (Commercial)
    • Broader/Commercial Impacts
      • What may be the commercial and societal benefits of the proposed activity?
      • If the benefit is primarily commercial, does the potential impact warrant significant NSF support?
      • Does the business team possess the relevant skills to commercialize the proposed innovation?
      • In what business skill areas is the team lacking and how do they plan to fill these gaps?
      • Has the proposing firm successfully commercialized SBIR/STTR-supported technology where prior awards have been made? (Or, has the firm been successful at commercializing technology that has not received SBIR/STTR support?)
      • Evaluate the competitive advantage of this technology vs. alternate technologies that can meet the same market needs.
      • Does the proposal lead to enabling technologies (instrumentation, software, etc.) for further innovation?
      • How well is the proposed activity positioned to attract further funding from non-SBIR sources once the SBIR project ends?
  • NSF SBIR Program
    • World’s biggest seed-stage program
    • Focus on market not technology
    • Powerful transition tool
    • Deep ties to private sector
    • High-leverage for post-academic effort
  • Lessons Learned
    • “ Market Issues” biggest reasons for failure
      • No one cared
      • Competition was stiffer than believed
    • Team is more important than idea
    • It costs WAY MORE to get to market
    • Education/Intervention can help
    • IP is overvalued at (almost) all stages
    • Thank You
    • [email_address]