SBIR Preparation: What Does Your Online Presence Say About You?

SBIR Preparation: What Does Your Online Presence Say About You?

When you type your name or your company's name into a google search what do you see? Online presence and how you and your company are portrayed online plays a key role in the first impression you are giving investors, reviewers, and customers. By the time you submit an SBIR proposal, you should have a good idea of what your online presence looks like. Do You Like What You See? When you perform a web search on yourself, do you like what you see? Do you see a picture of a professional business or a professional person? Do you see ...
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What is NSF I-corp and how is it beneficial to participate in before SBIR?

What is NSF I-corp and how is it beneficial to participate in before SBIR?

What is NSF I-corp? The National Science Foundation (NSF) created the Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) program to help hone business and commercialization skills in those participating in research and development of products and ideas that align with NSF industry focus. The program uses experiential education to help researchers develop and practice their business and entrepreneurship skills. Participants will gain hands-on experience in the field of customer discovery, commercialization, and pitching their product. NSF designed I-corp for participants in the pre-company stageNFS designed. NSF designed I-Corps as a result of analyzing data in 2011. They discovered that many NSF SBIR awardees who ...
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In Prep for SBIR: What Is TAM?

In Prep for SBIR: What Is TAM?

TAM Stands for Total Addressable Market Sometimes also referred to as the total available market is the total overall available revenue if 100% market share was achieved by a product or service. TAM is used to offer market validation and gain investors. As a business owner, it is always a good idea to know what the TAM for your product is, but as an SBIR applicant, it is essential. How Does TAM Relate to SBIR? SBIR is not just about designing a great product. There is a substantial focus on marketability and commercialization as well. Reviewers will be looking for ...
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Evaluation Reports Explained

Evaluation Reports Explained

Evaluation Report (ER) while incredibly helpful to review project success, this type of report differs from other project reports in that it is usually not mandated by the funder, rather it is used to inform and demonstrate outcomes on a specific project or program. Evaluation Reports can be completed annually, quarterly, twice a year, or as necessary to keep project or program team members updates on outcomes. Typically, these reports contain outcomes regarding goals, objectives, and other relevant information. Evaluation Reports should not be confused with mandatory reporting requirements from a funder. Mandatory reporting typically has specific reporting metrics and ...
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What Are Your Sustainable Competitive Advantages?

What Are Your Sustainable Competitive Advantages?

There are several aspects that go into making a company competitive. Technological advancements, access to markets not everyone has access to, or intellectual property rights can set you apart from your competitors in a positive and sustainable way. Even if you are still in the ideation phase of your product this is a relevant topic to consider. The ideation and early stage of product development are essential times for completing customer discovery. This will help determine your commercialization strategy and competitive advantages. Do not wait until your competitors are outselling you to determine where your sustainable competitive advantage lies. How ...
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SBIR Proposal Prep: Recent & sizeable changes in the market

SBIR Proposal Prep: Recent & sizeable changes in the market

Market research and competition are an incredibly important section of an SBIR proposal. Research of this depth and magnitude can understandably take up a fair amount of time. One best practice is to pre-prepare for your SBIR proposal. If you think an application to an SBIR program is in your future, start your market research today. Changes in the Market Recent and sizeable changes in the target market or industry can offer a lot of insight into what your competitors are doing and how you can best corner the market or offer a product that improves upon the current industry ...
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Patent Research: Why is it useful for competitor discovery

Patent Research: Why is it useful for competitor discovery

Part of excelling over your competitor(s) is learning what they are doing well and where they could use improvement. To make a "better" product or idea, start with researching the industry standard. Learning about what patents exist on similar products can help shed light on what elements of competitor products are patent protected and which are fair game for re-creating or improving upon. Another great thing about patents is that by studying them we can gain invaluable insight into what the competition, as well as the industry, is dong. A close look at competitor patents can offer clues to current ...
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SBIR Program Overview

SBIR Program Overview

A Crash Course on SBIR Within the confines of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) solicitations, there are three main categories to be on the lookout for- Phase I, Phase II, and Fast-Track. Each type of submission has its own rules, regulations, award amounts, and time frame. Recognizing the difference and deciding which one is the best fit for your project can save a lot of time and frustration. SBIR Phase I Explained A Phase I SBIR is intended to allow the testing of technical merit and feasibility of a proposed Research and Development (R&D) ...
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In Prep for SBIR: what is SAM?

In Prep for SBIR: what is SAM?

What is SAM? SAM or Serviceable Available Market is the segment of the Total Addressable Market (TAM) targeted by a company's products and within their geographical reach. You can think of SAM as the part of TAM that can actually be reached. Capturing the total addressable market is not usually feasible, at least not at first without significant marketing and growth. SAM lets a company know what portion of the market they are likely to capture given factors like geography and market competitors. How To Calculate SAM Here is how to calculate your serviceable addressable market. You need to determine ...
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DSIP Registration and Login Changes - What You Need To Know.

DSIP Registration and Login Changes – What You Need To Know.

On August 13th 2020 the Department of Defense (DOD) Small Business and Technology Office announced the DSIP integration with Login.gov. What Action Does My Business Need To Take? As a Small Business Concern (SBC) that is registered in DISP you will be required to register your business for a Login.gov account. Then you need to link that to your existing DISP account. If you already have a Login.gov account simply link your existing account to DSIP. The partnership between DSIP and Login.gov will allow multiple options for two-factor authentication. This will make it easier and more secure for DSIP users ...
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Empowerment Evaluation

Empowerment Evaluation

There are many different methods of evaluation. When designing the evaluation component of any proposal, it is advisable to learn about the different styles of evaluation. Select a methodology that is appropriate to the project needs and budget. Empowerment Evaluation or EE is a versatile and therefore popular evaluation method that is practiced globally by organizations of all sizes. EE has been used to evaluate philanthropic or humanitarian endeavors, as well as high-level scientific projects, for example NASA's Mars Rover Project. What Exactly is Empowerment Evaluation? The major defining factor that sets Empowerment Evaluation apart from other forms of evaluation ...
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Quick Tips for Proposal Preparation

Quick Tips for Proposal Preparation

If you are the owner of an innovation-focused #smallbusiness, chances are good that you are aware of federal funding for small business innovation. Detailed below are some quick tips and recommendations from us on how better prepare for federal funding such as SBIR/STTR. These may seem really simple and obvious, but really do make a difference in increasing your likelihood of funding success. Tip #1: Read and follow the instructions This sounds silly to say but wouldn't have to say it if people (this includes some grant writers as well as entrepreneurs) did not omit this very important step. Read ...
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Choosing the Right External Evaluator

Choosing the Right External Evaluator

Time to apply for funding. Program Director? Check. Director of finances? Check. Grant writer? Check. This checklist would look familiar to many grant applicants, yet it is missing a crucial team member. The Program Evaluator belongs on this roster as well. What makes the Program Evaluator so important? Evaluation reports provide built-in accountability for the use of funds. Most funding programs both federal and foundation require some sort of evaluation of the program. Having the individual responsible for the evaluation of the proposed program as a part of the grant writing team from the start can improve long-term grant seeking ...
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Where to Find an Evaluator

Where to Find an Evaluator

Independent External Evaluators are integral personnel for many research and development or foundation projects that are funded by grant money. But where is the best place to find such personnel? Thankfully, in the digital age, it is easier to search for and find the professionals necessary to complement any team than ever before. While there are ample reputable sites to use to find an Independent External Evaluator, there are several sites that stand out as the best. AEA-American Evaluation Association The American Evaluation Association or AEA is a great online source for all things evaluation (You can find us there) ...
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Where to find an NSF I-corp program near you

Where to find an NSF I-corp program near you

If you are thinking about applying to NSF SBIR it may be a wise choice to attend an NSF I-Corps programming session prior to submitting your proposal. But where is programming located and what resources can you use to find the nearest program? Thankfully there are many locations to choose from in many major cities. In order to offer the NSF I-Corps program to the largest possible number of participants, NSF has partnered with universities across the U.S. to offer I-Corps Hubs. There are nine nodes and 99 locations at which to attend I-Corps programming. Nodes are consortia of multiple ...
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Cost of Evaluation Services

Cost of Evaluation Services

While it is common knowledge that evaluation costs money, the precise cost is unknown to many business owners. The cost of evaluation services depends on the project or program, the scope of work, the level of evaluation services rendered, and the size of the organization providing the External Independent Evaluator. Despite the variables at play, there is an average percentage of the grant proposal budget one can expect to allocate for the purposes of evaluation services. The Bare Minimum Costs for evaluation services are typically included in the budget of the grant proposal and do not incur additional out of ...
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What Should Your Evaluator Be Doing For You?

What Should Your Evaluator Be Doing For You?

The tasks of the evaluator will vary greatly from project to project depending on the focus area, type of evaluation, and the scope of work involved. Nonetheless, there are a few key activities the evaluator is always responsible for regardless of the nuances of the project. There are several universal responsibilities of an evaluator. Key things the evaluator should always do include program assessment, the collection of the necessary information about the program, and data analysis. Identifying areas that need improvement, and create reporting is also key. It goes without saying that the evaluator should evaluate the project-but what does ...
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43North To Cancel Annual Pitch Competition Due to Covid-19

43North To Cancel Annual Pitch Competition Due to Covid-19

For the first time since its inception in 2014, the 43North annual startup pitch competition will be canceled this year. This is one of many difficult decisions policymakers have had to make in New York State and across the country this year due to the public health concerns of Covid-19. The 43North pitch competition offers one of the largest prize purses available. Startups look forward to the annual competition and a chance to win the $5M prize to help jumpstart their business. Unfortunately, this year a combination of public health and state economic hardship has made hosting the competition impossible ...
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Competitor market research in preparation for SBIR proposals

Competitor market research in preparation for SBIR proposals

In the excitement of being invited to submit a full SBIR proposal, it can be easy to forget all the legwork that goes into writing the actual proposal. By planning ahead and being prepared, proposal preparation does not have to be intimidating. One very important part of nearly all SBIR project descriptions is the comparison of the product or idea to competitors. Understanding competitors and where they excel vs. what needs work allows companies to demonstrate the merits of their idea or product. The Project Description The project description has several sections where it is pertinent to mention competitors. The ...
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In Prep for SBIR: What is TM?

In Prep for SBIR: What is TM?

Are you getting ready to prepare your SBIR/STTR proposal? If so here's some quick guidance on what you may want to be conscious of and address in your proposal. Taking this into consideration may help to strengthen your application. Total Market (TM) is a new way of looking at a company's addressable market. While TAM, SAM, and SOM take into account market segments of interest given certain factors, TM takes a more accurate and personalized look at a company's most valuable and most attainable market segments. The TM approach also recognizes the need to apply different marketing tactics to different ...
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