For science-based startups, early capital is particularly hard to secure, due to the technical risk that angel investors and venture capitalists are typically not willing to bear. This is where the federal government can play a critical role in funding technical development that decreases the risk profile of a startup and makes it more attractive to private capital, though programs like the NSF SBIR.
Five recent NSF I-Corps teams (Aligned Carbon, Coreshell Technologies, S2E Scientific, Sonera Magnetics, Terrafuse) were recently awarded Phase I grants for $225k. Their affiliations include UC Berkeley, Stanford University, MIT, the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab,, Cyclotron Road, and SkyDeck. All of them completed the one-week regional program and/or the seven-week national program, along with the NSF SBIR Workshop.
We’re doing the NSF SBIR Workshop again this year–just in time for the NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I submission deadline. More details and registration info here.