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Is the SBIR/STTR Conference worth attending?

We have been looking into the SBIR grant application process and it's kind of a maze. Next week is the Fall National SBIR/STTR Conference. Has anyone attended this in the past and gotten value from the experience? Can you recommend any alternative ways to learn about the programs and/or reasonably priced service providers who can help with the application process?

7 Replies

Janice Mandel
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Janice Mandel Entrepreneur • Advisor
Writer, Communications Strategist, Advisor
Hi Josh, My colleague, Andrew Conklin, and I are attending -- probably a good idea to network. The forms are actually one pagers. I am a professional writer so am going to learn what they are looking for in a strong proposal.
John Sechrest
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John Sechrest Entrepreneur • Advisor
Mentor at Startup Mentor
The SBIR Conference is a very useful thing to do if you want to understand the SBIR process.

It is a chance to connect with other companies that have already succeeded at SBIR grants.

It is a chance to see the widely different sets of expectations between the different SBIR agencies.

And most importantly, it is an opportunity to make connections to the program directors and to learn what it is that they care about.

You will end up using specific language and specific approaches that vary between agencies. It is hard to figure that out without meeting people and seeing what they are concerned about.

The Greenberg workshops are worth paying attention to .


Onikepe Adegbola, MD PhD
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Global Head, Scientific Affairs, Clinical Trials at Quest Diagnostics
I've heard it is critical to know the program officers, so it is probably important to attend to network. For a good service provider, I would recommend Gareth Hughes (https://clarity.fm/garethhughes).
Good luck!

Barbara Crowley
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Barbara Crowley Entrepreneur
CEO Snabbo, Inc.
Hi Josh, I applied for a SBIR a couple of years ago. It was pretty brutal trying to navigate through the government's instruction booklet and when you call D.C. directly they are like the riddling Sphinx. I did not know aobut the Fall conference but if it is not much $$ to attend and is being held in your area, I say go to it. Otherwise, there are "grant-writers" available if you do an online search. I kind of felt like I lost nine months of my life writing the grant alone and trying to figure out everything they wanted. Good luck! Barbara
Ryan Rigterink
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Ryan Rigterink Entrepreneur
Midwest Manager at Hematogenix Laboratory
I attended last year and it was very worth while. I agree with John's points including the Greenberg workshops. I think if you are planning to invest time in the application process it is well worth the investment to attend and increase your chances for a good outcome.
Josh Bohls
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Josh Bohls Entrepreneur
Founder at Inkscreen
Thanks for all the feedback. I am registered to attend.
Madhuri Gandikota
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Madhuri Gandikota Entrepreneur
Founder and CEO at Tapasvi Clin-MolBio Solutions Inc
I myself am being eyeing SBTR/SBIR. Yes, I agree with Barbara that writing grants can be time consuming.
But if one succeeds these are good opportunities. Everything with govt. is slow, but SBTR/SBIR grants can land one in big opportunities. Looks like Dr. Onikepe is happy and that is the way to go . Make connections with the program officers.


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