SBIR · Grants

Is the SBIR/STTR Conference worth attending?

Josh Bohls Founder at Inkscreen

November 7th, 2014

We have been looking into the SBIR grant application process and it's kind of a maze.  Next week is the Fall National SBIR/STTR Conference.  Has anyone attended this in the past and gotten value from the experience? Can you recommend any alternative ways to learn about the programs and/or reasonably priced service providers who can help with the application process?

John Sechrest

November 7th, 2014

The SBIR Conference is a very useful thing to do if you want to understand the SBIR process. 

It is a chance to connect with other companies that have already succeeded at SBIR grants. 

It is a chance to see the widely different sets of expectations between the different SBIR agencies.

And most importantly, it is an opportunity to make connections to the program directors and to learn what it is that they care about. 

You will end up using specific language and specific approaches that vary between agencies. It is hard to figure that out without meeting people and seeing what they are concerned about. 

The Greenberg workshops are worth paying attention to .


Onikepe Adegbola, MD PhD

November 7th, 2014

I've heard it is critical to know the program officers, so it is probably important to attend to network. For a good service provider, I would recommend Gareth Hughes (https://clarity.fm/garethhughes).
Good luck!

Janice Mandel Writer, Communications Strategist, Advisor

November 7th, 2014

Hi Josh, My colleague, Andrew Conklin, and I are attending -- probably a good idea to network. The forms are actually one pagers. I am a professional writer so am going to learn what they are looking for in a strong proposal. 

Barbara Crowley CEO Snabbo, Inc.

November 7th, 2014

Hi Josh, I applied for a SBIR a couple of years ago. It was pretty brutal trying to navigate through the government's instruction booklet and when you call D.C. directly they are like the riddling Sphinx. I did not know aobut the Fall conference but if it is not much $$ to attend and is being held in your area, I say go to it. Otherwise, there are "grant-writers" available if you do an online search. I kind of felt like I lost nine months of my life writing the grant alone and trying to figure out everything they wanted. Good luck! Barbara

Ryan Rigterink Midwest Manager at Hematogenix Laboratory

November 7th, 2014

I attended last year and it was very worth while.  I agree with John's points including the Greenberg workshops.  I think if you are planning to invest time in the application process it is well worth the investment to attend and increase your chances for a good outcome.

Josh Bohls Founder at Inkscreen

November 8th, 2014

Thanks for all the feedback. I am registered to attend.

Madhuri Gandikota Founder and CEO at Tapasvi Clin-MolBio Solutions Inc

November 11th, 2014

I myself am being eyeing SBTR/SBIR. Yes, I agree with Barbara that writing grants can be time consuming.
But if one succeeds these are good opportunities. Everything with govt. is slow, but SBTR/SBIR grants can land one in big opportunities.  Looks like Dr. Onikepe is happy and that is the way to go . Make connections with the program officers.