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|From the premise that not even the ASSET system will work for you if you're not there, the following approach has been developed to make event involvement an option for some SBIR awardees who might not otherwise feel able to participate. If what you have in any good, we'd rather have you in the room and talking to the relevant Tech Seeker(s) than in your office/lab trying to do it on your own.
On a limited basis, and until the total number of available slots runs out, the decision is, on a contingency basis to enable a number of cash-strapped SBIR awardees with skills-sets, capabilities and technology(ies) judged to be of likely interest and importance to one/more Tech Seekers to be fully involved in the Sixth Annual ASSETS Forum.
Registration will be at no-cost/low-cost
to the small firm involved.
Tied entirely to the fee for full ASSETs participation (not to the size, or the nature, of the achieved deal) the contingency arrangement is structured such that
No deal, no obligation.
|Want to know more
about this arrangement?
So sure am I
that I am tempted to call this page some variation on the common expression "Putting our money where our mouth is". Instead we will stay with the more restrained approach of offering a Contingency Option to those small firms whose event participation would add much to event content and outcome ... but whose likely involvement is constrained by the limited availability of funds.
Deals get done:
The track record of previous ASSETs events in enabling the small firms involved to get to useful working relationships is impressive. We are betting - for want of a better term - that this year's event will be no different.
Be that as it may. We are willing to take this risk.
We know only too well that for many small firms active in the SBIR space - and not only the newcomers - these have been tough times. Though dollars per award have increased for many projects, the number of SBIR awards has been reduced and other sources of revenue and working capital have all but dried up. Not sure how long they would have to make their monies last, almost everyone has been husbanding resources and the ripple impact has been to slow down business operations.
Things are picking up ... but the damage is done. In all the years of tracking SBIR activity in all its aspects we have never seen before the rate of company downsizing and door closing that we have been witness to in the past couple of years.
In recent months, large(r) corporations who have longtime worked with smaller firms are coming back into the fray and, with the clarion call of Open Innovation in their ears - very different to different players - many other large and mid-sized corporations are entering this arena for the first time They are assuming the role of Tech Seeker. These Corporations need what many small firms can bring to the table and, in major part, they have the resources to enable and to support such relationships.
If not now, when?
There has perhaps never been a more important time for small firms to meet those in the major and mid-sized corporations with external outreach responsibility and decision making authority. For those SBIR Awardees who have relevant skills and capabilities to meet those Tech Seeker needs and who have been hesitating to become ASSETs involved because cash is tight, exercising the contingency option should be one seriously to consider.