LaunchTN Opens Application for $7 Million Matching Fund



new matching grant program

Launch Tennessee, an organization that supports startup interests in the state, is offering a new matching grant program. Tech businesses in competitive fields like advanced energy, life sciences, and mobility that have received funds from select federal programs are welcome to apply.



LaunchTN Has $7 Million in Matching Grant Funds for Small Business

The $7 million matching fund will provide additional support to Tennessee companies that have received a federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award during the past year. Individual awards may be up to $300,000 per business.

To qualify, Tennessee businesses must have received their SBIR or STTR award notice between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. Then, companies must submit an application for matching funds to LaunchTN. The application period is open now through August 15. And the program will match awards of up to $100,000 for SBIR/STTR Phase I and $300,000 for Phase II recipients.

The SBIR/STTR Matching Fund is funded through the State of Tennessee and the Tennessee General Assembly. But LaunchTN will facilitate the program. LaunchTN is a public-private partnership that aims to make Tennessee a friendly destination for startups. The organization offers various resources, events, grant programs, and incentives through a network of Entrepreneur Centers and partner nonprofits and business development centers.

About the Federal SBIR/STTR Programs

The SBIR/STTR federal funding programs have provided more than $13 million to businesses in Tennessee over the past six years, creating more than 650 jobs and making an economic impact of nearly $350 million.

These initiatives aim to encourage U.S. small businesses to participate in federal research and development projects in competitive fields like technology. Specifically, the program prioritizes projects that have the potential for commercialization. So these awards are seen as a jumping off point for companies that can add value to society and the economy over time.



These programs have been in place for years. So this new state initiative from LaunchTN aims to help companies that are already making a mark on competitive fields reach even further.

LaunchTN’s Innovation Manager Charles Layne said in a statement, “Thanks to the SBIR/STTR Matching Fund, we have an opportunity to support our entrepreneurs in the acceleration and commercialization of their technologies while also ensuring the technologies of tomorrow are being built right here at home in Tennessee.”

How to Apply for a LaunchTN SBIR/STTR Matching Grant Award

The application period for LaunchTN SBIR/STTR matching grants officially opened July 1. And the deadline to apply is August 15. Applications received after that date may still be considered if funds are still available, but LaunchTN cannot guarantee consideration.

LaunchTN offers a form on their website. And eligible businesses may need to submit additional documentation to LaunchTN via email. Startups that accept matching funds agree to remain headquartered in Tennessee for at least two years and to check in regularly with LaunchTN. The organization offers a full list of requirements and steps on their website.



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Image: launchtn


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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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