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  ..importance of SBIR funding...in Qualcomm’s earliest days should not be underestimated…SBIR provided…critical start-up funding ..(and) ..."stamps of approval" that allowed us to successfully pursue sources of private capital.
Irwin Jacobs, Qualcomm Founder Congressional testimony Feb 2011
Irwin Jacobs, Qualcomm Founder Congressional testimony Feb 2011 With passage and implementation of the long-fought recent SBIR Reauthorization particularly to accommodate expanded program participation by VC-funded entities, the decades long use of a single ppt slide with a few bullets to indicate SBIR Eligibility is long gone. These days, to detail SBIR application eligibility requires an 18 page document: SBA's official Guide to SBIR-STTR Program Eligibility. 

Since the overwhelming percentage of now 21,600+ SBIR participants became program active under the very different conditions of earlier years - discussed below - our systems include many previously SBIR involved firms that by today's rules of engagement might be much less likely to be awardees EITHER by their choice OR because their work is much earlier stage than seems now to be acceptable project material.  Certainly it is the case that, even before full implementation, the combination of far more rigorous definition of who can be SBIR-applicant along with other changes variously impacting program management were already being reflected in program activity: who is involved, for what types of project and with what subsequent business development implications.

What data is tracked in our systems?
Our already having comprehensive systems long since structured to monitor a full range of SBIR participation factors and outcomes along with technical and business detail about awardees, it will be interesting to track how that all plays out over time.  We will be offering our analyses on this site and in other mediums.  Interested parties are invited to keep in touch and to use the tools provided on this site to discuss their take on how the program is working under the new rules of engagement.


Who are SBIR Awardees?
For the previous 25 years, decision to apply for SBIR research funding was far more loosely determined that it is today.  The initiative being primarily that of the individuals involved - person or firm. With important focus on PI status at the time of award - versus at the time of application - it was estimated at one point several years into program operation that perhaps as high as 20 percent of the awards funding were being used

  • to open the doors of the receiving entity for the first time
  • and/or to bring onto the staff someone whom the small firm could probably not otherwise afford. 
Our data suggests that while the latter may still be applicable, with fewer awards being made the number coming new into the program has dropped to levels not previously seen over the life of the program:  see chart here.

       In the near term, though there are awardees in our records marked
  • "Lost Trace" - particularly among those early-involved and having very limited SBIR participation: 1500+ of them
  • "No info available"  despite considerable digging to include principals of the firm: another 1400.  Most were also SBIR-active in the earlier yaers but these also include several hundred in receipt of award within the past 8-10 years but, apparently - on the part of some, by careful choice - opt to fly under the radar
  • "Out of Business" - where we know for sure - or "Out of Business(?)" where management just seems quietly to have closed the doors - sadly, a far more common occurence in the past 5-6 years.  Sometimes this involves a firm having been acquired - and we pick that up later - or simply has changed it's name - a very common occurence which we also maintain as part of the the awardee record.  In almost all cases, we will at least have somel level of useful information about the firm.
However, in addition to our full and current record of every SBIR-STTR award along with other federal funding (post (and other) SBIR contracts, earmarks and plus-ups), other research funding sources (foundation, contract R&D funding etc) our systematic compilation of data relevant to assessment of the business condition of each awardee includes
  VC investment in SBIR awardees     IPOs and subsequent trading    Mergers and Acqusitions    Business partnering and collaborations   Patent issuance activity   In- and Out-licensing    Patent issuance activity
To access the assigned pages for each designated Community Player, simply click on relevant link on right side column of this page. 
      Each area includes:
  • Description of the particular group with indication of primary role they play in the SBIR space in that capacity
  • Provision to Registered Site Users of useful Search and Sort capabilities within that grouping along with interesting aggregate and analytical data -- much of which is not readily available elsewhere...if at all.
The SBIR-STTR world is replete with awards info and how-to data. Events Calendars - federal, state and others - are full: some providing participants valuable insight.
      What is missing are the means to support ongoing interaction between parties: useful, in-depth and timely. To that end, this site
  • Carries broad range of business-development related data: indication of SBIR-impact analysis
  • Provision of the tools to initiate and contribute into substantive discussions.
  • ....in short business networking at its most effective & useful.

Names you may recognize...

Qualcomm Inc
 Click on name to see Company Profile

Contact information

Innovation Development Institute, LLC

   45 Beach Bluff Avenue, Suite 300
     Swampscott,  MA 01907-1542

  Tel:  (781) 595-2920