Are You SBIR Ready?

Are You SBIR Ready?

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) opportunities presented by 11 federal agencies are one of the largest non-equity based grant awards a small business can apply for. What is even better is that these opportunities are available annually, biannually, or in the case of the National Science Foundation (NSF) on a rolling basis. There is no question SBIR is a great opportunity, but what businesses should be considering before they apply is whether or not their business is SBIR ready. Some small businesses get so excited about these opportunities they apply before they are truly ready. Unfortunately, the reviewers can see ...
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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Pre-Award Costs

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Pre-Award Costs

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of a grant proposal is a properly itemized and reasonable budget that adheres strictly to the budget guidelines established by both the agency and the individual solicitation. It is for this reason that it is absolutely imperative to thoroughly research the allowable and unallowable costs associated with your prospective grant. In this post, we will be exploring the guidelines specific to the EPA. Thinking of Pursuing an EPA Grant? The EPA is one of 11 federal agencies that award equity-free grants to small businesses. Their SBIR grants are offered on a rolling basis ...
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Paying for proposal preparation by incentive, contingency, or success fees

Paying for proposal preparation by incentive, contingency, or success fees

This is a topic that we first wrote about in 2013 HERE that continues to resurface. Often we are asked if we can accept award funds to pay for proposal preparation service or if can we be paid a commission should the grant be awarded. The answer is a resounding "no." We DO NOT work on a contingency basis. Unlike most of our competitors, we do not take an incentive, contingency, or success fees. We uphold the ethics of the Grant Professional Association (GPA) and the American Evaluation Association (AEA), follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), and follow the federal ...
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Funding Rates and How to Craft a Competitive Proposal

Funding Rates and How to Craft a Competitive Proposal

How many proposals get funded per agency or organization? Well, that depends on the agency or organization. Typically, foundation grants are smaller both in value and quantity, as private foundations often have a smaller purse to dispense funds than the federal government. The federal government's grants tend to be larger and more numerous, but the odds of winning one are still much smaller than small businesses would care for. In fact, the average success rate for SBIR overall is only 13%. Below see the table for the success rate of each of the 11 agencies offering Small Business Innovation Research ...
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Solicitations and RFPs: What's the difference?

Solicitations and RFPs: What’s the difference?

What is the difference between a solicitation and a request for proposals (RFP)? These terms are often used interchangeably to represent opportunities for small businesses to submit proposals. Some common terms for this include Procurement, Solicitation, Request for Proposal (RFP), Request for Quotation (RFQ), Request for Qualifications and Quotation (RFQ), or Request for Information (RFI), all of which can be used to describe an opportunity in which a federal payer will grant funds to a small business for doing a specific type of work for a selected duration. Solicitations While all RFPs are a type of solicitation, not all solicitations ...
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DOD SBIR

DOD SBIR

The Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer or DOD SBIR Program seeks innovative solutions from the small business community that addresses defense technology gaps confronting the DOD and to includes technologies that will also have high commercialization potential in the private sector. DOD issues announcement topics supporting the Warfighter in three cycles throughout the year. Here are the key dates, eligibility requirements, and required registration for this opportunity. DOD SBIR Key Dates The next round, Department of Defense: 21.A and 21.1 BAA SBIR is scheduled to open on January 14th, 2021, with all submissions ...
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NIH SBIR

NIH SBIR

Do you have an innovative idea in a health related field? If so, NIH SBIR could be a viable way to obtain funding to take that idea or concept to the next level. The NIH SBIR offers rolling deadlines each year. There are three rounds of due dates for the applications. The September deadline already passed, but January 5, 2021, and April 5, 2021 are coming up fast. Can't meet the April 2021 deadline? Don't worry. A new solicitation will be issued sometime after April 6 with three deadlines folded in for 1) September, 2) January, and 3) April. Notifications ...
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TABA: One of the best kept secrets in federal proposal preparation

TABA: One of the best kept secrets in federal proposal preparation

TABA is an incredibly useful resource that surprisingly few people know about. TABA, or Technical and Business Assistance, is a program that provides funding over and above the SBIR/STTR grant budget cap. These funds are specifically to be used for commercialization assistance services from a chosen provider. Services can range from proposal prep, business consulting, or evaluation. The amount of TABA varies depending on the program and agency offering it. TABA Aliases TABA has several aliases as well. It could be offered under the program title of DTA for Discretionary Technical Assistance, or in some cases, it is simply listed ...
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NIST SBIR FY2021 To Open This January!

NIST SBIR FY2021 To Open This January!

What is NIST? The National Institute of Standards and Technology, a division of the Department of Commerce, is scheduling the release of their annual Small Business Innovation Research federal grant opportunity this January. Get Ready! NIST SBIR is focused on advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. To advance innovation in this field, the NIST participates in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The 6-month Phase I projects will be funded with $100,000.00, and Phase II is eligible for $400,000.00. Eligibility As with all SBIR programs, you must ...
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ED/IES SBIR Solicitation from Department of Education FY20/21

ED/IES SBIR Solicitation from Department of Education FY20/21

The ED/IES SBIR competition (Small Business Innovation Research program at the Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences) just released its annual solicitation! This federal innovation grant provides funding to firms and partners for the research and development and evaluation of commercially viable education technology products. On December 1, 2020, theED/IES SBIR program released its Fiscal Year 2020/2021 "Phase I" solicitation: Solicitation #91990021R0001 is a request for Phase I proposals for awards up to $200,000 for 8-months for the development of prototypes of education technology products to improve relevant student, teacher, or administrator outcomes in education and special education settings ...
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Addressing the Technical Risks question

Addressing the Technical Risks question

In day-to-day life, risks are usually viewed as a negative, something to be avoided. But for those who apply for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding, risk is required as a prerequisite for achieving funding. There is a specific section entitled “technical risk,” in which companies must describe what makes their idea unproven and innovative. Nonetheless, projects applying for funding must fully elucidate the probability and sound scientific background of their idea in their proposals. This leaves many companies wondering, “So if risk is a good thing, then why did I have to include all these citations supporting my hypothesis?!?!” ...
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Incremental Objectives, Innovative Objectives, and SBIR

Incremental Objectives, Innovative Objectives, and SBIR

Incremental Objectives To understand the difference between incremental objectives and innovative objectives, we must first define each. Incremental objectives are usually small achievable objectives that must be reached in order to fully develop a product, process, or idea. Incremental objectives are small, necessary, low-risk steps that must be taken to meet the goal. In the case of research and development projects, these are often straightforward engineering tasks or similar product building. Innovative Objectives Innovative objectives, on the other hand, are objectives that seek to improve things by an order of magnitude. Innovative objectives require experimentation, risk-taking, and creative solutions. As ...
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Documentation

Documentation

All companies - for-profit, non-profit, large and small, new and seasoned, need to understand the grave importance of documentation. There are countless scenarios when a business is expected to furnish certain documents about its operations, plans, employees, and other activities. This is especially true for businesses that hope to secure any kind of funding. Contrary to what less informed business owners may believe, private investors, municipalities, and the federal government are not arbitrarily handing out free money when they publish a contract or grant opportunity. These funds come with restrictions and expectations. Funders want to ensure that their money is ...
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Project Team

Project Team

Building the right project team requires a great deal of thought and planning. It is easy to rely on your personal or professional network to source your team, although not always the wisest choice. There are some specific aspects reviewers are looking for in a project team. It is important to consider these qualities when assembling your team and finding employees. What do Reviewers Want? The answer depends on several factors, including what agency you are applying to and the type of research being conducted. In general, reviewers want to ensure that the team has relevant prior experience and sufficient ...
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Grant Readiness

Grant Readiness

Is your company grant ready? While any company would appreciate some extra funds, it is best to wait until your business is truly grant ready to apply for funding. This applies to federal funding such as SBIR and government contracts, as well as private funding such as venture capitalists and angel investors. But what does “grant ready” mean? Overall, it means that the company is at a stage where it is ready to receive funding and grow as a business and that the company has everything needed to apply for funding. How do you know if you are grant ready? ...
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NEW! Startup Fund Hub's Accelerator Database Launches Today!

NEW! Startup Fund Hub’s Accelerator Database Launches Today!

It is official, a fourth database has been added to the roster for searchable small business funding database Startup Fund Hub! The newest addition is a list of accelerators focused on various industries and locations. The new database will be available to all members who have purchased the All-Access Pass. The COVID-19 database will remain FREE to all who sign up as a member. Startup Fund Hub For those who have not heard, Startup Fund Hub is a curated database created by E.B. Howard Consulting allowing users to empower themselves to find their own small business funding using a continuously ...
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Growth Strategy

Growth Strategy

It is easy to get excited about a new business, product, or idea. It is easy to get swept away in big dreams about the future of the company and how successful it will be. But as a business owner, you owe it to yourself to put plans in place to make sure the reality of your business's future is every bit as rosy as those big dreams, and that requires a growth strategy. The Roadmap It is critical early on in the development of your business to create a roadmap of where you are currently, where you would like ...
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It's Official, Our First Webinar is Scheduled for December 15th

It’s Official, Our First Webinar is Scheduled for December 15th

In response to the overwhelming need for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and proposal preparation education, E.B. Howard Consulting will be hosting an informational webinar on the topic. The program, "Beyond Grant Writing 101: Fundamentals and Advanced Toolkit for SBIR/STTR" will take place on December 15th, 2020. Tickets will be available on Eventbrite beginning November 16th. The presentation will focus on the history and overview of SBIR/STTR, the difference between the two programs, deep insight into best practices for proposal preparation, and a Q&A session. What will be covered? Overview of SBIR/STTR: General principles and purpose of funding, types ...
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SAM.gov and Associated Registrations

SAM.gov and Associated Registrations

Are you the type of person that waits until the last possible minute of a deadline? If so, it may benefit you to recognize and avoid this behavior pattern as a business owner when registering for federal accounts. Federal funding requires applicants to register for several accounts before being able to submit a proposal. The fact is, many of these registrations take significant time to approve, and if you miss the deadline, that’s it. There will be no extensions or second chances to submit until the next Funding Opportunity Announcement is released - and some agencies only release one per ...
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Pre-Award Costs and DOD - What you need to know.

Pre-Award Costs and DOD – What you need to know.

Each of the 11 government agencies has their own individual guidelines and policies with regard to allowable costs. Each of these is very specific with regard to pre-award costs. This includes services rendered for business consultation or proposal preparation. What is a 'pre award cost?' Also known as pre-agreement costs, pre=award costs are defined as costs considered necessary to the project but incurred prior to the starting date of the award period. You may not settle these costs with any awarded funds. The ONLY exception to this rule is if the Office of Grants & Training (G&T) makes an exception ...
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  • January 16th, 2021
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