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Entrepreneur Innovation Awards
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Acceleration and Commercialization Program
Technology Talent Bridge Internship (TTBI)

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Acceleration and Commercialization Program

A highly selective program to help you commercialize your product and accelerate your growth.

What it is 
The goal of the SBIR Acceleration and Commercialization program is to increase the participation of Connecticut-based firms in federal SBIR and STTR grant programs. These highly competitive programs improve your small business’s chance of advancing your technology and achieving commercialization, higher profits, and job growth. 

How it works
Connecticut Innovations offers grants to support federal SBIR/STTR grant projects. We offer support at three different phases as you advance through the federal SBIR/STTR program. Our goal is to provide a sustainable fund to support Connecticut technology companies for years to come.

Our funding contracts are royalty-based cooperative agreements. The funding starts as a grant that is provided to your small business during the risky, technology development stage. You begin to repay the state’s investment once you start to commercialize. In special cases, the agreements may be converted to equity.

SBIR Phase Zero 
If you’re new to the federal SBIR grant program, you can receive services that will help you increase your chance of winning. Services include SBIR conference fee reimbursements, proposal accounting support, application reviews and strategy sessions.

Attend a National SBIR Conference
The annual national SBIR conference is a must-attend for companies seeking SBIR funding. You’ll benefit from one-on-one access to SBIR program managers, you’ll learn grant-winning strategies, and you’ll network with university and industry partners. CI will provide fee reimbursements to select small Connecticut tech companies to attend.

Have an Expert Review Your SBIR Grant Budget
We know how difficult it is for companies that have never won an SBIR/STTR award to craft their federal Phase I grant budgets. That’s why we offer budget development support to companies writing SBIR grants through an SBIR accounting firm for just $100. Additionally, you can have your accounting system reviewed for government compliance at a discounted cost. This is an allowable expense if you win a state matching SBIR grant.

Have Your Application Reviewed by a Seasoned Professional
Working on an SBIR/STTR grant application and want some counsel or strategic advice?  Even experienced grant writers can benefit from a second pair of eyes. Our proposal reviews are always free – and can help you win!

Phase I Support
CI offers grants of up to $100,000 to help you increase your chance of receiving a Phase II and accelerating commercialization. If you wish to subcontract some of your project to a Connecticut research university, you may use up to $20,000 of the award to cover direct costs of the university’s effort.

These competitive grants are awarded on a case-by-case basis.

Phase II Support
State awards for Phase II winners are available to Connecticut-based companies that have won Phase II SBIR/STTR funding in 2014 or 2015. Qualified companies may apply for up to $200,000 with a required 50 percent external match.

Funding can be used for:

  • Further developing prototypes or proofs of concept
  • Hiring employees, assembling teams
  • Developing and protecting intellectual property
  • Testing and certification
  • Machine tools
  • Business development
  • Technology assessments and market analysis/strategies
  • Accounting, legal and other business advisory services

Funding may also be used to bridge the “valley of death,” the phase prior to commercialization when you may need to file patents, develop a marketing strategy, and conduct other activities to bring your technology to market.

The bulk of the funding for SBIR Acceleration and Commercialization program Phase I and Phase II winners must be used in Connecticut.

Non-SBIR Federal/Industry/Foundation Matching Grants

Other significant funding from the federal government, foundations and industry challenges often comes with a catch—the requirement for a cash match. Qualified companies may apply for up to $200,000 to be used for this purpose. Like our Phase II support program, there is a required 50 percent external match. These competitive grants are awarded on a case-by-case basis. 

Additional information:
Budget template Phase 1
Budget template Phase 2
Grant Cooperation Agreement
SBIR Conference Reimbursement Application Exceptional
SBIR Conference Reimbursement Application General
Grant Application Phase 1
Grant Application Phase 2


If you have questions, contact
Johnna Scott