Top 3 things every entrepreneur needs to know about: SBIR Funding
1. Time: The SBIR Funding process does not happen overnight. Take time to learn about the process from individuals who have been through the process before. Connect with mentors to help you with the process. Divide the grant into sections and create a schedule for yourself to read and review each section before you start writing each section. Be sure to include time to have your proposal reviewed by mentors as well as time for the editing process. The SBIR Funding process does not end when you are finished writing your proposal, submitting your proposal on the SBIR website takes more time than you would think. Be sure to factor in extra time for the submission process and be aware that the site can have problems during high traffic times especially around grant deadlines. Help yourself and plan to submit your proposal a few days before the grant deadline.
2. Dedication: Just as the SBIR Funding process takes time, it also takes dedication. SBIR Funding is available however you must dedicate time and energy to the process. Part of being dedicated to the process includes learning, listening. Making your proposal the best it can be includes taking advice and being open to editing your proposal. If reviewers ask you to submit changes, answer questions, or provide explanations have the fortitude and dedication to the process to answer all questions. If your proposal is not funded, review comments, edit, and resubmit.
3. Nothing in life is free… except SBIR Funding: The amazing thing about SBIR Funding is the funding! SBIR Funding could be the closest thing to free money, as long as the funding is utilized in the ways you proposed and is used to accomplish your aims. With that said, SBIR Funding must be used appropriately and managed properly. It is best to consult with experienced grants management professional to assist in setting up a grants management system and learn the rules of what is and what is not billable to the grant.
The money is out there, putting in the time and being dedicated to the process can lead you to successfully funding your vision and having the resources to accomplishing your goals.
About the expert: Marissa Siero is a co-founder and VP of Marketing for IntelliWheels, Inc. IntelliWheels, Inc. , an innovation house for wheelchair technology, was recently awarded a $1.5 Million Phase II SBIR from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. This is the second SBIR grant IntelliWheels, Inc. has been awarded, the Phase I SBIR was awarded in 2012 for $164,000.00 from the NIH. The grant funding supports the team’s mission to create mobility options for wheelchair users, specifically a multi-speed, geared wheel for manual wheelchairs.