The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today it will launch an 18-state road tour connecting entrepreneurs with next generation Research & Development ideas to the largest source of early stage funding led by the SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.
“We are dedicated to supporting America’s entrepreneurs wherever they are. American innovation is not restricted by geographic or cultural boundaries,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said. “This tour reflects our commitment to ensuring that these innovators are aware of the resources that can help them turn a big idea into another great American innovation story.”
The SBIR Road Tour plays an important role in increasing engagement with entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country and building out a greater network to support the creation of small businesses focusing on high-impact research. The SBIR Road Tour also advances several goals of the SBIR/STTR programs, including outreach to increase the participation by women, individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged, as well as small business owners who reside in underrepresented states.
Each SBIR Road Tour stop will be hosted by a local organization involved in supporting entrepreneurs in next generation Research & Development. Program managers from the 11 participating federal agencies will conduct one-on-one meetings with attendees, take part in targeted panels, and share insights into how their agencies make funding decisions.
The SBIR/STTR programs provide $2.5 billion in early stage funding to small businesses each year in a wide variety of technology areas such as unmanned systems, advanced materials, health, cybersecurity and defense. The SBIR/STTR programs execute over 4,000 new awards annually. These awards have helped innovators advance new technologies and have contributed to the creation of thousands of jobs.
NATIONAL ROAD TOUR SCHEDULE 2018:
The Southern Tour will run from April 16-20, with stops in Chattanooga, Tenn., Huntsville, Ala., Little Rock, Ark., Jackson, Miss., and Baton Rouge, La.
The Eastern Tour will run from June 18-22, with stops in Rochester, N.Y., Pittsburgh, Pa., Columbus, Ohio, Charleston, W.Va., and Durham, N.C.
The Pacific Northwest Tour will run from July 17-19, with stops in Portland, Ore., Seattle, Wash., and Anchorage, Alaska
Finally, the New England Tour will run from August 20-24, with stops in Wilmington, Del., New Haven, Conn., Providence, R.I., Manchester, N.H., and Portland, Maine
Small technology firms, innovators, scientists or researchers seeking more information on the SBIR Road Tour, including a schedule of stops and participating agencies should visit: www.sbirroadtour.com.
For more information about SBIR/STTR programs, please visit www.sbir.gov.