Top 5 things to know about the upcoming MBDA solicitation

  • January 31, 2023

The deadline for the MBDA Capital Readiness Program NOFO is quickly approaching – 2/28/23. Here are the five most important takeaways concerning putting forth a competitive proposal.

#1 – potential applicants need to start required registrations NOW

If you attended the MBDA webinar series, you have heard the MBDA’s excellent advice regarding SAM. To begin the registration process, the first step is creating a account. is the master account that ultimately enables all other required registrations. Unfortunately, is the lengthiest application process, with a best-case scenario of approval in three weeks and a worst-case scenario of 6 weeks or longer to approve.

Until SAM is active and valid and a client’s CAGE code and UEI number have been assigned, they are prevented from creating the additional accounts needed to apply to NSF SBIR/STTR. is critical not only to the lead applicant but also to any subaward or consortium partners. Any business or research entity listed in the budget must have an active SAM registration at the time of proposal submission.

#2 – There is a mandatory travel

This is a rare requirement, especially in a post-pandemic world. The MBDA NOFO requires travel. Applicants are required to budget for a 4-day trip for two staff persons (one of whom must be the project director) to attend MBDA’s National Capital Readiness Program Implementation Meeting in Washington, DC during the first year of the program.

Applicants are required to budget for two additional trips for each year of the program for up to two staff persons (one of whom must be the project director) to attend MBDA’s Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week, and MBDA’s National Training Conference.

As MBDA is unsure of where the conferences will be, applicants are encouraged to use Washington, D.C. travel and lodging rates to build this budget line item.

#3 – This opportunity is for organizations providing services to entrepreneurs (not to entrepreneurs themselves)

As mentioned many times in the MBDA webinars, this opportunity is for organizations that are serving SEDI small businesses/entrepreneurs. It is not an opportunity for small businesses and entrepreneurs to apply directly.

#4 – There is a mandatory cost share

Matching dollars are required for this opportunity. Each eligible applicant shall provide a non-Federal match ranging from 10% to 25%, depending on the award amount. The cost share can be from the applicant themselves or a third-party organization with whom they are partnering. The cost share can be applied as a monetary contribution or in-kind services or donations of materials (staff resources, space, supplies). The chart below illustrates the match requirement for each tier.

#5 – There are six required measures that applicants must report on under the Program

There are mandatory objectives and reporting requirements outlined within the MBDA grant guidelines. These improvement metrics must be part of the activity plan and objectives. Data must be collected on the measures to be included in interim and final reports. These include:

  • Number of SEDI entrepreneurs enrolled in the project
  • Number of SEDI entrepreneurs that graduate from the project
  • Number of networking events held
  • Number of SEDI entrepreneur or SEDI-owned business pitches to Capital provider(s)
  • Number of SEDI-owned businesses formed or scaled
  • Total amount of Capital raised (equity investments, debt, and grants)
  • Applicants must also propose and define at least one additional performance measure (“Other
  • Performance Measure”) that best reflects the project scope of work. This Other Performance
  • The measure is subject to MBDA approval (see Appendix B).

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