ASU Venture Catalyst to Offer Workshops to Tap into Federal R&D Funds for Small Businesses

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Two day, Phase 1 workshop to offer proposal assistance for SBIR Grant applicants

ASU Venture Catalyst will offer another SBIR Phase 1 workshop for grant applicants seeking Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding, on September 6 and 7 at ASU SkySong. ASU’s workshops will offer education and information about SBIR grants as well as teaching structured SBIR grant writing methodology that has proven to be highly successful. Individualized sessions for proposal review and assistance from coaches and past SBIR grant recipients will also be available to workshop participants during day two.

The workshops are taught by Sharon Ballard, President and CEO of EnableVentures, Inc, a leading expert in SBIRs. She has a proven track record of SBIR awards for attendees and has collaborated with ASU for many years. "Our workshop objective has not changed since 2003 - entrepreneurs should be able to write a winning SBIR proposal with little to no extra assistance after attending our training,” said Ballard. “It is not uncommon for attendees to write and win their first SBIR proposals after our workshop training. I'm really proud that this continues to happen. We are here to help when they need it but it is very satisfying when they win on their own."

In addition to offering these workshops, ASU Venture Catalyst provides connections to enhance proposal submissions. These include connecting companies to ASU faculty and corporate sponsors.

The SBIR program offers grants that account for 2.5% of federal research budgets and in 2010, that amounted to $1 billion. SBIR Phase I recipients can get up to $150,000 and Phase II recipients can get up to $1 million for R&D efforts. Additionally, Phase I and II recipients are more likely to receive private funding and venture capital, which is another great benefit of pursuing SBIRs. Since 2008, ASU faculty and ASU Venture Catalyst companies have been awarded more than 45 SBIR/STTR grants, which amounted to more than $7 million.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program provide funding for early-stage technology ventures that are still too high-risk to attract funding from private investors. Both programs are coordinated by the U.S. Small Business Administration. ASU’s Venture Catalyst conducts these SBIR workshops to provide research, writing and submission support for entrepreneurs and high-potential startups, as well as facilitating critical connections to corporations that can provide letters of support to applicants. Phase 1 Workshops are open to ASU faculty, students and local companies.

There are still seats available for this week’s workshop. For more information on ASU’s Phase 1 Workshops please visit


About Venture Catalyst at ASU (
ASU Venture Catalyst equips high potential startups for success. The Catalyst assists university students, faculty and staff, as well as local and global companies, with launching startups or accelerating existing ventures. Based at ASU SkySong, The Catalyst offers investor connections, technology road maps, go-to-market strategy consulting, mentoring opportunities, and several other programs and services, all designed to identify and develop investment-grade companies.

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Meagan Garrett
ASU SkySong
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