The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced the launch of America’s Seed Fund Road Tours. This initiative aims to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs working on advanced technologies and America’s Seed Fund, a principal source of early-stage federal funding. Through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, the Seed Fund offers over $4 billion annually in non-dilutive funding across 11 federal agencies.
The Road Tours are part of a national outreach campaign designed to directly connect innovators and entrepreneurs with federal agencies offering non-dilutive SBIR/STTR grants and contracts. This initiative is crucial for boosting entrepreneur engagement with entities that support and finance revolutionary innovations. The tours will commence with America’s Seed Fund Week, a virtual event, followed by four in-person tours covering 16 states and territories in 2024.
SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman emphasized the Biden Administration’s commitment to linking innovators with essential resources and capital, from concept to commercialization. “The SBA is coordinating this federal engagement to ensure innovative startups and small businesses from underserved states and communities can equitably access this critical source of early-stage funding,” she stated.
Each tour stop, organized in collaboration with SBA’s Federal And State Technology (FAST) Partners, will offer entrepreneurs a platform to meet with federal agency representatives and learn how to navigate the application process for SBIR/STTR funding. These interactions are vital for small business owners and technology entrepreneurs seeking guidance and opportunities in their respective regions.
Bailey DeVries, Associate Administrator of Investment and Innovation, highlighted the importance of public-private sector collaboration in nurturing American innovations that can enhance the human condition and spur economic growth. The Seed Fund Tour is a step towards increasing connectivity among innovators, experts, funders, and federal resources nationwide.
The Road Tours include stops in various regions, starting with Virtual America’s Seed Fund Week hosted by SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation. The Coastal, South, Southeast, and Great Lakes tours will follow, with each stop hosted by different regional partners, including universities, technology development centers, and state economic development corporations.
Entrepreneurs interested in participating in America’s Seed Fund Road Tours can find detailed information and registration details at americasseedfund.us/road-tour. For a comprehensive list of SBIR/STTR funding agencies and more about America’s Seed Fund programs, visit sbir.gov.
Small Business Deals
This initiative represents a significant opportunity for small business owners and innovators to connect with vital funding sources and gain insights into federal funding processes. The America’s Seed Fund Road Tours not only offer financial support but also provide a platform for networking, knowledge sharing, and fostering collaborations essential for the growth and success of small businesses in the high-tech sector.