State matching grants to elevate 8 high-tech small businesses

 

 

 

 

MADISON – Eight small high-tech businesses in Wisconsin will receive up to $75,000 each to commercialize their innovations, thanks to the SBIR Advance program’s latest round of funding. 

The state matching grant program provides assistance to companies in the process of completing a project in the . This is the 10th round of SBIR Advance funding since this collaboration by the and the began in 2014.

Since then, 64 awards have been given, equaling $4.7 million throughout the state. Those businesses reported hiring more than 173 employees and obtaining $16.5 million in additional capital since receiving the grants.

The recipients:

  • of Madison. Seeks to accelerate scientific discoveries via a global standard software solution, CultureTrax, that directly addresses the critical challenges of stem cell research management, reproducibility and electronic data storage;
  • of De Pere. Specializes in the design, engineering and manufacturing of compact heat exchangers and heat exchange reactors targeted for high temperature and pressure applications such as Brayton-cycle supercritical CO2 (sCO2) power systems and process intensification for energy and chemical markets;
  • of Madison. Specializes in engineering and optimizing new diamond and diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings for improving new application across many industries, including medical device, aerospace, defense and oil/gas;
  • . Spun out of UW-Madison. Rethinking design through state-of-the-art generative design technology that includes high-performance design analysis and next generation topology optimization;
  • of Madison. Provides high-throughput, high-performance computing software solutions in computer-aided engineering; and
  • . of Fitchburg. Developing innovative and scalable small-scale manufacturing processes based on bonding and layer transfer for fabricating advanced flexible electronics, photonics, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and semiconductor devices.
  • of Madison. Developing revolutionary natural products (such as antibiotics) by leveraging proprietary BigDNA metagenomic processes to explore the vast biodiversity in our planet’s soil;
  •  of Madison. Offering human stem cell-based products and services in drug discovery for neurological and psychiatric diseases;

The U.S. government created SBIR/STTR programs to stimulate domestic high-tech innovation, providing $2.5 billion in federal research funding each year. Because those funds cannot be used for commercialization activities, the SBIR Advance program fills the gap. Funds can be used to pursue market research, customer validation, intellectual property work or other areas that speed commercialization.

SBIR Advance grant recipients receive CTC staff support available throughout the commercialization process, including Lean Startup training, business plan review and other consulting.

“SBIR Advance provides Wisconsin companies with a unique advantage over their national competitors,” said Dr. Todd Strother, Program Manager.

For more details on the SBIR Advance program, visit or contact Strother at .

“SBIR Advance fills a critical role in bridging the gap between laboratory research and a market-ready product,” said Aaron Hagar, vice president of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at WEDC. “The business development efforts and learning supported by SBIR Advance are just as critical to the success of these companies as the initial research grant.”

SBIR Advance is part of a Start-Seed-Scale (S3) initiative WEDC is pursuing with the help of the UW System and other business leaders throughout the state to remove barriers to high-tech commercialization. Under the S3 umbrella, WEDC and its economic development partners are implementing financial and operational assistance programs designed specifically to address Wisconsin’s business startup and seed-funding challenges. Another S3 collaborative effort between WEDC and the UW System is the Ideadvance Seed Fund, also managed by UW-Extension’s CTC. Selected SBIR Advance participants undergo Ideadvance Lean Startup training that is modified to assist with their SBIR Phase II applications.

About The Center for Technology Commercialization

The Center for Technology Commercialization is a unit in the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Division for Business and Entrepreneurship. CTC provides one-on-one expert consulting to early-stage emerging technology businesses throughout Wisconsin. CTC has collaborated in acquiring more than $100 million in federal and other funding for clients. Learn more at ; follow on Twitter.

About The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Learn more at ; follow on Twitter.

Tags: 

Ideadvance Seed Fund pursues past and present UW System colleagues

 

 

 

 

MADISON, Wis. – Innovators with current or past ties to the UW System are invited to apply to the Ideadvance Seed Fund with business ideas that could contribute to Wisconsin’s “knowledge economy.” 

The Ideadvance program provides business funding and mentoring toward a scalable, profitable business model. Grant dollars are earned by teams after they demonstrate key learnings toward their commercialization goals.                                                              

have gone to a range of ideas, including an and a small, simple

The deadline to apply is April 27. Diverse teams from all parts of Wisconsin are invited to connect early with the program to take advantage of resources that can guide them through the application process. An introductory video is available as well as hands-on assistance from Ideadvance consultants. 

The program is open to UW System staff, faculty, students and alumni. At this time, teams consisting of only UW-Madison founders are not able to apply. However, hybrid teams with founders from UW-Madison and other UW System schools are welcome to compete. 

Ideadvance, launched in 2014, has awarded grants to 49 Stage 1 teams and 16 Stage 2 teams, totaling over $1.8 million in funding. Stage 1, with funding up to $25,000, focuses on achieving commercialization milestones to reduce risk and determine need in the marketplace to solve a problem. Stage 2, with follow-on funding up to $50,000, helps a select few to advance their business models to deliver customer solutions and attract investors. 

“We try to help teams assess their ideas to determine if an idea really is a good business,” Ideadvance New Idea Concierge Idella Yamben said. “These methods help awardees learn if their ideas really solve a significant problem for the customer.” 

Dale Trudell, co-founder of a software solution to improve literacy teaching standards, was astounded by the support from the Ideadvance program and staff. Through numerous Minimum Viable Products, the Appleton company found chances to speak to their clients and test ideas. 

“Ideadvance forced us to get out of the office to prove or disprove our assumptions. This taught us to pivot. We’ve pivoted half-dozen times already, and, thanks to Ideadvance, we were successful without spinning our wheels,” Trudell said. 

Awards are determined by an Investment Committee with representatives from UW System, WiSys Technology Foundation, UW-Extension, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and an entrepreneur affiliated with an eligible UW campus. The committee selects competitive proposals with a compelling case for a significant solution to a market problem and a dedicated team focused on learning about risks to their business model. The committee also focuses on the skills of the team and how well-prepared they are to tackle this learning. 

Although high-tech ideas are welcome, entrepreneurs do not need to present a biotech or IT technology. The types of eligible businesses are very broad, including ideas in agriculture, manufacturing, music production, textiles, art or business. The only restrictions are that the business cannot be in real estate, direct consumer retail or hospitality, including restaurants.

Ideadvance is part of WEDC’s efforts to expand collaboration with the UW System, business leaders and others throughout the state. Through their special S3 initiative, WEDC is working to remove commercialization barriers entrepreneurs face by providing financial and operational assistance that address business startup and seed-funding challenges.  

“We see Ideadvance as a core component of generating interest in entrepreneurship and startups outside the major metro areas,” said Aaron Hagar, vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation for WEDC. “We’re hearing a lot of interest from local partners, and Ideadvance is a great conduit for helping local ideas get connected with state, national and global networks.” 

To apply, go to . For more information, contact Idella Yamben, New Idea Concierge, at or 608-263-3315.

 

About The Center for Technology Commercialization

The Center for Technology Commercialization is a unit in the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Division for Business & Entrepreneurship. CTC provides one-on-one expert consulting to early-stage emerging technology businesses throughout Wisconsin. CTC has collaborated in acquiring more than $100 million in federal and other funding for clients. Learn more at ; follow on Twitter.

About The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

WEDC leads economic development efforts for the state by providing resources, operational support and financial assistance to companies, partners and communities in Wisconsin. Working with more than 600 partners across the state, including regional economic development organizations, academic institutions and industry clusters, WEDC develops and delivers solutions that help businesses, communities and people maximize their potential In Wisconsin. Learn more at ; follow on Twitter.

SBIR Advance matching grant applications due in January

MADISON – UW-Extension’s Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) is offering a matching grant of up to $75,000 to provide additional assistance to companies in the process of completing a project in the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

This is the 10th round of SBIR Advance funding dedicated by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) since SBIR Advance began in 2014.

“These funds continue to help SBIR companies do critical business-related activities that accelerate their commercialization and ultimately benefit the Wisconsin economy,” said Dr. Todd Strother, CTC Senior Technology Consultant and SBIR Advance Program Manager.

Deadlines are quickly approaching:

To becompanies must have an SBIR/STTR project in either Phase I or Phase II of funding. All companies must be located in Wisconsin to be considered for the grant. Funds can be used for business and market development, customer validation, intellectual property work or other areas needed to speed product commercialization.

Applicants should also note these important dates:

  • Jan. 25, 2018: Companies chosen for funding will be notified by this time.
  • Feb. 15, 2018: Phase I Match awardees must be prepared to start the . The course runs through May 10 and is administered by the CTC. It teaches companies how to incorporate their technologies into a validated business model and defines the best possible target markets.

For more details on the SBIR Advance program, visit or contact Strother at .

SBIR Advance is part of a Start-Seed-Scale (S3) initiative WEDC is pursuing with the help of the UW System and other business leaders throughout the state to remove barriers to high-tech commercialization. Under the S3 umbrella, WEDC and its economic development partners are implementing financial and operational assistance programs designed specifically to address Wisconsin’s business startup and seed-funding challenges. One such initiative — also a collaborative effort between WEDC and the UW System — is the , also managed by UW-Extension’s CTC. Selected SBIR Advance participants undergo Ideadvance Lean Startup training that is modified to assist with their SBIR Phase II applications.

 

About The Center for Technology Commercialization

The Center for Technology Commercialization is a unit in the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Division for Business and Entrepreneurship. CTC provides one-on-one expert consulting to early-stage emerging technology businesses throughout Wisconsin. CTC has collaborated in acquiring more than $100 million in federal and other funding for clients. Learn more at ; follow on Twitter.

About The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Learn more at ; follow on Twitter. 

Tags: 

State matching grants to boost six high-tech small businesses

 MADISON – Six small high-tech businesses in Wisconsin will receive up to $75,000 each to commercialize their innovations, thanks to the SBIR Advance program’s latest round of funding. 

The state matching grant program provides assistance to companies in the process of completing a project in the . This is the ninth round of SBIR Advance funding since this collaboration by the and the began in 2014.

Since then, 56 awards have been given, equaling $4.15 million throughout the state. Those businesses reported hiring more than 173 employees and obtaining $16.5 million in additional capital since receiving the grants.

The recipients:

  • of Madison, in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is relentlessly developing a paper-based test to detect the specific bugs that cause diarrheal diseases;
  • of Fitchburg offers unique biomaterials for cell and tissue manufacturing. Applications include medical devices for drug discovery, cell therapy and regenerative medicine;
  • of Marshfield is a life science tools company founded in 2007 to create novel products for microscopy laboratories;
  • of Milwaukee provides advanced technology to reduce the size and cost of energy storage systems;
  • of Platteville is the creator of First Contact Polymer, a one part product specifically formulated to safely clean precision optical surfaces with minimal surface adhesion while leaving zero residue; and
  • of Madison develops next generation microarray technology and applications for basic research and drug discovery.

The U.S. government created SBIR/STTR programs to stimulate domestic high-tech innovation, providing $2.5 billion in federal research funding each year. Because those funds cannot be used for commercialization activities, the SBIR Advance program fills the gap. Funds can be used to pursue market research, customer validation, intellectual property work or other areas that speed commercialization.

SBIR Advance grant recipients receive CTC staff support available throughout the commercialization process, including Lean Startup training, business plan review and other consulting.

“We recognized that a small company is much more than just the technology and that they need to validate their key business assumptions.” said Dr. Todd Strother, Program Manager. “The SBIR Advance grant provides them with resources to do these activities so that the company can build and commercialize a product that customers actually want.” 

For more details on the SBIR Advance program, visit or contact Strother at .

“Companies selected for SBIR Advance receive benefits well beyond the financial award,” said Aaron Hagar, vice president of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at WEDC. “The expertise provided by CTC staff and connections to other resources work in concert with the financing to guide and accelerate these companies through the next stages of their development.”

SBIR Advance is part of a Start-Seed-Scale (S3) initiative WEDC is pursuing with the help of the UW System and other business leaders throughout the state to remove barriers to high-tech commercialization. Under the S3 umbrella, WEDC and its economic development partners are implementing financial and operational assistance programs designed specifically to address Wisconsin’s business startup and seed-funding challenges. Another S3 collaborative effort between WEDC and the UW System is the Ideadvance Seed Fund, also managed by UW-Extension’s CTC. Selected SBIR Advance participants undergo Ideadvance Lean Startup training that is modified to assist with their SBIR Phase II applications.

 

UPCOMING NATIONAL SBIR OPPORTUNITY – IN WISCONSIN!

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services will host the national 2017 Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (HHS SBIR/STTR) conference Nov. 7-9  in Milwaukee.

The conference helps small businesses in the life science sector learn how to tap into America’s Largest Seed Fund; HHS awards more than $920 million annually.

Go to to learn more and register.

  

About The Center for Technology Commercialization

The Center for Technology Commercialization is a unit in the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Division for Business and Entrepreneurship. CTC provides one-on-one expert consulting to early-stage emerging technology businesses throughout Wisconsin. CTC has collaborated in acquiring more than $100 million in federal and other funding for clients. Learn more at ; follow on Twitter.

About The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Learn more at ; follow on Twitter.

 

Tags: 

Medical Cyberworlds: Using virtual technology to teach human skills

Company: Medical Cyberworlds

City: Madison

Website:

Started: 2006

Founder and President: Dr. Fred Kron – a doctor, cancer survivor and screen writer for such TV shows as “Star Trek” and “The Smurfs”

About the company: MPathic-VR is an interactive training platform to improve the interpersonal skills and bedside manner of medical professionals using “virtual human” patients that respond to users’ words, facial expressions and body language.

The problem to solve: Medical errors caused by faulty clinician communication, responsible for more than 400,000 deaths and $1 trillion in expenses in the United States annually

How the company is tackling that problem: Standard training through staged interactions is not effective or consistent. Through the training software, computer-generated feedback and scores provide unbiased data on strengths, weaknesses and progress over time.
“I’ve been on both sides of the discussion, and I’ve experienced the distress that people’s insensitivity can cause,” Kron said. “There needed to be a better way of teaching people how to develop trust and rapport by improving their communication behaviors. How do you discern and validate other people’s emotions? How can you make your patients and peers feel understood? How do you craft a win-win in crucial discussions?  We’ve created a patented technology that empowers and enables healthcare providers to learn those skills, by practicing with virtual human characters that listen and respond like real people.”

How working with Center for Technology Commercialization connected with solutions/funding:

  • Acquired two federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants through the National Institutes for Health (NIH)
  • Received an SBIR Advance grant through the CTC and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
  • Selected to participate in the NIH’s highly selective Commercialization Acceleration Program, which taught lean startup methodology to discover what potential customers want and are willing to spend
  • Added serial entrepreneurs from a growing advisory network to the company’s board of directors through mentorship from CTC as well as UW-Madison Small Business Development Center and Merlin Mentors

Results so far:

What’s next:

  • Seeking Phase III sole source federal contracts for a potential growth route
  • Working on NIH grants to fund additional content and research to drive technology adoption in target markets

Wow factor: Kron said it’s critical that the virtual human characters are believable and capable of evoking feelings of empathy. To that end, Medical Cyberworlds became a signatory to the Screen Actors’ Guild so the company can contract with professional actors to capture high-quality performances that are then vetted by experts for authenticity.

Applications beyond the medical field? Kron sees applications for this kind of training across a variety of fields. “If we can help take down communication barriers in general, just imagine the possibilities. I had a gentleman come up to me after using MPathic-VR, and he said ‘I gotta tell you, that stuff that you’re teaching me, those aren’t just skills you can use in medicine, those are life skills. My wife and I were having an argument last night, and I tried out the skills I learned from MPathic, and they worked!’ If our product could help people be better able to talk together, understand and empathize, wouldn’t that be a better world? It may sound like a reach, but that’s my dream.”

SBIR Advance matching grant applications due in August

MADISON -- UW-Extension’s Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) is offering a matching grant of up to $75,000 to provide additional assistance to companies in the process of completing a project in the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

This is the ninth round of SBIR Advance funding dedicated by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) since SBIR Advance began in 2014.

“These funds continue to help SBIR companies do critical business-related activities that accelerate their commercialization and ultimately benefit the Wisconsin economy,” said Dr. Todd Strother, CTC Senior Technology Consultant and SBIR Advance Program Manager.

Deadlines are quickly approaching:

To be companies must have an SBIR/STTR project in either Phase I or Phase II of funding. All companies must be located in Wisconsin to be considered for the grant. Funds can be used for business and market development, customer validation, intellectual property work or other areas needed to speed product commercialization.

Applicants should also note these important dates:

  • Sept. 1, 2017: Companies chosen for funding will be notified by this time.
  • Sept. 21, 2017: Phase I Match awardees must be prepared to start the . The course runs through Dec. 14 and is administered by the CTC. It teaches companies how to incorporate their technologies into a validated business model and defines the best possible target markets.

For more details on the SBIR Advance program, visit or contact Strother at .

SBIR Advance is part of a Start-Seed-Scale (S3) initiative WEDC is pursuing with the help of the UW System and other business leaders throughout the state to remove barriers to high-tech commercialization. Under the S3 umbrella, WEDC and its economic development partners are implementing financial and operational assistance programs designed specifically to address Wisconsin’s business startup and seed-funding challenges. One such initiative — also a collaborative effort between WEDC and the UW System — is the , also managed by UW-Extension’s CTC. Selected SBIR Advance participants undergo Ideadvance Lean Startup training that is modified to assist with their SBIR Phase II applications.

 

About The Center for Technology Commercialization

The Center for Technology Commercialization is a unit in the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Division for Business and Entrepreneurship. CTC provides one-on-one expert consulting to early-stage emerging technology businesses throughout Wisconsin. CTC has collaborated in acquiring more than $100 million in federal and other funding for clients. Learn more at ; follow on Twitter.

About The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Learn more at ; follow on Twitter.

Transforming innovative UW System ideas into businesses: Ideadvance Seed Fund awards $200K

MADISON – Up to $200,000 in grants will be awarded to five small businesses in the latest round of awards in the Ideadvance program fostering the entrepreneurship ecosystem across Wisconsin.

 is a rigorous two-stage process of seed funding and mentoring to move innovative ideas forward into feasible businesses. It is open to UW System staff, faculty, students and alumni at all campuses except UW-Madison. Ideadvance awardees must demonstrate significant progress toward a scalable, profitable business model in order to receive increments of Ideadvance seed funds.

Stage 1 teams are eligible for up to $25,000, earned by meeting goals over a six-month period of mentorship and work focused on customer validation.

The 2017 awardees are:

  • Forsythe & Storms Technologies of Oak Creek, which devised an innovative, less-lethal self-defense device for law enforcement and corrections.
  • VetNEX of River Falls, which assists veterans and advocates in the VA Service Connected Disability Claims process by providing validated medical documents to support the link to service.

Stage 2 companies are eligible for up to $50,000 in matching funds within a 12-month period by capturing follow-on funding and developing and executing a customer acquisition strategy.

This year’s awardees are:

  • High 5 Academics of Oshkosh, which developed TTL, a cloud-based series of integrated tools helping K-8 school principals collaborate with literacy teachers to improve mastery of their craft.
  • Pivot Interactives of River Falls, which makes innovative educational activities that teach scientific reasoning and critical thinking skills essential to today’s learners through interacting with a customizable video interface design.
  • Northern Star Fire of Eau Claire, which developed an eight-directional compass to aid firefighters through disorienting conditions.

“We’re allocating resources and making investments in companies that have a positive impact on the economies and communities of Wisconsin,” said Dr. Idella Yamben, program manager. “We also aim to train entrepreneurs in a Lean Startup approach to building their business.  Ideadvance’s performance-based funding supports innovative and risky ideas, while also saving money should the entrepreneur pivot away from ideas that no longer make business sense.”

Since 2014, Ideadvance, a partnership between the UW-Extension’s Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), has awarded $1.5 million in grants. The impact of these grants has resulted in $2.65 million in additional funding allocated to the awardees, as of February 2017. Ideadvance is part of the WEDC’s S3 program which is working to further incorporate start-ups by providing operational and financial assistance to aid in navigating commercialization barriers.

Interest in the program was strong in 2017. Stage 1 saw applications rise to 23, up from 14 last year and its most since launching in 2014. Stage 2 drew seven applications, and all three awardees had already completed Stage 1, though it is not a requirement.

This year was the first time that Ideadvance was opened to UW System alumni.

Twenty-year veteran firefighter Captain Jeff Dykes is a 2017 recipient of Stage 2 funding.  Dykes’ product, The Northern Star, is a compass that attaches to a firefighter’s mask and highlights the direction a firefighter is facing when activated.

“Ideadvance has provided Northern Star Fire with both the funding and resources to successfully launch our company. We worked the lean business canvas model through Stage 1 and were able learn the key components to make our company a success,” Dykes said.

While the next round of applications won’t be open until spring 2018, Yamben encourages innovators to act now on their inspiration and help improve their eligibility for an Ideadvance application. “It’s never too early to think about your idea and pull in a team to start working.”

“By helping entrepreneurs turn their ideas into new businesses, Ideadvance is a high-impact component of Wisconsin’s innovation climate,” said Aaron Hagar, WEDC’s vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation and a member of the Ideadvance selection committee. “Through the collaboration and resources of WEDC and the UW System, we’re committed to help these young companies successfully launch and grow in Wisconsin.”

 

About The Center for Technology Commercialization

The Center for Technology Commercialization is a unit in the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Division for Business & Entrepreneurship. CTC provides one-on-one expert consulting to early-stage emerging technology businesses throughout Wisconsin. CTC has collaborated in acquiring more than $100 million in federal and other funding for clients. Learn more at ; follow on Twitter.

About The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Learn more at ; follow on Twitter.

SBA’s Small Business Innovation National Road Tour is coming to Wisconsin

 MADISON – The SBIR Road Tour is coming to Wisconsin on July 18, giving small businesses the coveted opportunity to learn more about America’s largest seed fund for research and development. 

This stop, part of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 11-state, 15-city road tour, will allow entrepreneurs and small technology firms to connect directly with federal program managers. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are responsible for $2.5 billion annually in non-dilutive funding, primarily in the STEM fields. 

“The last two years of the SBA Road Tour have been a huge success, and we’ve engaged thousands of small innovative firms across the nation, so we are excited to bring back the tour for a third year,” said John Williams, SBA Director of Innovation and Technology.  

The SBA is dedicated to supporting America’s entrepreneurs, and this tour reflects the agency’s commitment to ensuring innovators are aware of the resources that can help them turn a big idea into another great American success story. This year’s SBIR Road Tour, “Seeding America’s Future Innovations,” is a national outreach effort targeting advanced technology communities.  

The Madison stop, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 18 at the Park Hotel on Capitol Square, will be hosted by UW-Extension’s

"This is the first time the tour is stopping here, and we are excited for companies in Wisconsin and the Midwest to have this rare chance to meet face-to-face with the people who make the funding decisions," said Todd Strother, CTC Senior Technology Consultant. 

The National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health are among the agencies participating in the tour. 

The highly competitive SBIR/STTR programs together account for more than 150,000 awards totaling approximately $40 billion. These awards have helped U.S. innovators advance new technologies that help make the U.S. more globally competitive. The SBIR/STTR programs have provided seed funding to companies including Qualcomm, iRobot, Symantec and Genzyme.  

Cost for the daylong Madison event is $35 ($25 for students). To register, go to . Contact Margaret Ramey, CTC Outreach Specialist, at or 414-227-3165 if you have any questions. 

For more on the tour, go to . For more information about SBIR/STTR programs, visit

A related national opportunity will be coming to Wisconsin in the fall: The Health and Human Sciences National SBIR/STTR Conference will be Nov. 7-9 at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center. Learn more about this premiere biomedical conference at .

 

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The (SBA) was created in 1953 and since January 13, 2012, has served as a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.  The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses.  Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

To learn more, visit

 

About the Center for Technology Commercialization

The Center for Technology Commercialization is a unit in the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Division for Business and Entrepreneurship. CTC provides one-on-one expert consulting to early-stage emerging technology businesses throughout Wisconsin. CTC has collaborated in acquiring more than $100 million in federal and other funding for clients. Learn more at www.wisconsinctc.org; follow on Twitter.

Ideadvance Seed Fund now open to many UW System alumni

MADISON, Wis. – Innovators from across the UW System with a business idea that could contribute to Wisconsin’s “knowledge economy” are invited to apply for the Ideadvance program.

New this year: Beginning with the April 28 deadline, Ideadvance will accept applications from graduates of any UW System campus except UW-Madison. The program combines early-stage grant funding with business mentoring for UW System part-time or full-time staff, faculty, students and alumni from all campuses except UW-Madison. Those affiliated with UW-Madison are allowed to contribute as team members on eligible projects, just not as primary clients.

Ideadvance, launched in 2014, has awarded grants to 48 Stage 1 teams, of which 13 teams have been awarded Stage 2 funding. Stage 1, with funding up to $25,000, focuses on achieving commercialization milestones to reduce risk and determine need in the marketplace to solve a problem. Stage 2, with follow-on funding up to $50,000, helps a select few to advance their business models to effectively deliver customer solutions and attract investors.

The Ideadvance program promotes learning as well as support for an innovative idea and business model. The grant dollars awarded to teams are only received after they demonstrate key learnings towards their commercialization goals.

“We try to simulate the real world startup environment for these entrepreneurs,” Center of Technology Commercialization Associate Director Dave Linz said. “We want them to ‘get out of the building’ and test their ideas and business models in the marketplace.”

Alana Platt, founder of , a web-based fund-raising tool for schools, valued not only the funding to create jobs and drive revenue but also the mentorship of the program.

 “We wouldn’t be where we are today without Ideadvance,” Pruitt said. “You don’t learn entrepreneurship in Computer Science.”

Awards are determined by an Investment Committee with representatives from UW System, WiSys Technology Foundation, UW-Extension, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and an entrepreneur affiliated with an eligible UW campus. The committee selects competitive proposals with a compelling case for a significant solution to a market problem and a dedicated team focused on learning about risks to their business model. The committee also focuses on the skills of the team and how well-prepared they are to tackle this learning.

Although high-tech ideas are welcome, entrepreneurs do not need to present a biotech or IT technology to receive an Ideadvance grant. The types of eligible businesses are very broad, including ideas in agriculture, manufacturing, music production, textiles, art or business. The only restrictions are that the business cannot be real estate, direct consumer retail or a hospitality business, including restaurants.

Ideadvance is part of WEDC’s efforts to expand collaboration with the UW System, business leaders and others throughout the state. Through their special S3 initiative, WEDC is working to remove commercialization barriers entrepreneurs face by providing financial and operational assistance that address business startup and seed-funding challenges.  

“Ideadvance is an important resource for turning new ideas coming out of the UW campuses into businesses,” said Aaron Hagar, vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation for WEDC. “Ideadvance helps ensure that not only do the individual businesses receive the support they need at the earliest stages, but that the communities where these businesses are located can start to build stronger networks and a more robust entrepreneurial environment.”

To apply, go to . For more details or questions, contact Idella Yamben, New Idea Concierge, , 608-263-3315.

 

About The Center for Technology Commercialization

The Center for Technology Commercialization is a unit in the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Division for Business & Entrepreneurship. CTC provides one-on-one expert consulting to early-stage emerging technology businesses throughout Wisconsin. CTC has collaborated in acquiring more than $100 million in federal and other funding for clients. Learn more at ; follow on Twitter.

About The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Learn more at ; follow on Twitter.

$525,000 in state matching grants to boost 7 high-tech small businesses

MADISON – Seven small high-tech businesses in Wisconsin will receive up to $75,000 each to commercialize their innovations, thanks to the SBIR Advance program’s latest round of funding.

The state matching grant program provides assistance to companies in the process of completing a project in the .

This is the eighth round of SBIR Advance funding since this collaboration by the and the ) began in 2014. Since then, more than $3.6 million has been awarded to 37 companies throughout the state. Those businesses reported hiring more than 150 employees and obtaining $11.5 million in additional capital since receiving the grants.

The recipients are:

of Madison, which is developing tools and processes for building flexible hybrid electronic and photonic devices; 

of Pewaukee, which is developing low-cost, high-efficiency window glass;

of Madison, which specializes in the metabolic engineering of nonconventional yeasts to produce renewable fuels and other higher-value products;

of Madison, which supplies pancreatic cells for drug research and is developing a therapeutic treatment for diabetes;

of Madison, which transforms woodchips and other biomass into renewable chemicals and advanced materials;

of Madison, which is pioneering development of safe, easy-to-use antimicrobials and disinfectants to destroy bacterial pathogens causing crop loss in agriculture and human infectious diseases; and

of Madison, which is developing next-generation electric motors to improve performance, increase energy efficiency and reduce costs.

The U.S. government created SBIR/STTR programs to stimulate domestic high-tech innovation, providing $2.5 billion in federal research funding each year. Because those funds cannot be used for commercialization activities, the SBIR Advance program fills the gap. Funds can be used to pursue market research, customer validation, intellectual property work or other areas that speed commercialization. SBIR Advance grant recipients receive CTC staff support available throughout the commercialization process, including Lean Startup training, business plan review and other consulting.

“The interest and support for SBIR Advance continue to be strong,” said Dr. Todd Strother, who manages the program. “The investment in these early-stage companies are starting to see returns as the funded companies are working on commercialization and sales. This particular round of applicants was competitive; our reviewers had the difficult task of selecting from many solid proposals.”

For more details on the SBIR Advance program, visit or contact Strother at .

"We often see companies receiving SBIR grants that have made great progress on the technical side but have critical business development milestones they simply don’t have a way to fund,” said Aaron Hagar, vice president of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for WEDC. “Potential investors and customers want to see progress beyond what the federal grants can provide, and SBIR Advance helps to close that critical gap.”

SBIR Advance is part of a Start-Seed-Scale (S3) initiative WEDC is pursuing with the help of the UW System and other business leaders throughout the state to remove barriers to high-tech commercialization. Under the S3 umbrella, WEDC and its economic development partners are implementing financial and operational assistance programs designed specifically to address Wisconsin’s business startup and seed-funding challenges. Another S3 collaborative effort between WEDC and the UW System is the Ideadvance Seed Fund, also managed by UW-Extension’s CTC. Selected SBIR Advance participants undergo Ideadvance Lean Startup training that is modified to assist with their SBIR Phase II applications.

 

About The Center for Technology Commercialization

The Center for Technology Commercialization is a unit in the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Division for Business and Entrepreneurship. CTC provides one-on-one expert consulting to early-stage emerging technology businesses throughout Wisconsin. CTC has collaborated in acquiring more than $100 million in federal and other funding for clients. Learn more at ; follow on Twitter.

 

About The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Learn more at http://inwisconsin.com; follow on Twitter.

Tags: 

Pages

Subscribe to Front page feed