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From the Experts: Essential Info for DoD SBIR/STTR Proposers

May 31st, 2016 | by Becky Aistrup

BBCetc’s Michigan SBIR/STTR support program was honored to welcome Richard McNamara, NAVSEA SBIR Transition Manager, and Jonathan Leggett, NAVSEADOD logo SBIR Outreach Coordinator, to a recent DoD Proposal Prep workshop in Ann Arbor, MI. Throughout the session and during their brief about the NAVSEA SBIR program, McNamara and Leggett offered advice for applicants to consider as they pursue Phase I, II and III opportunities with organizations such as NAVSEA. Here are four useful tips from the presentation:

medium-Number-1-33.3-3874Keep the stated needs of your DoD client first and foremost in your proposal.
NAVSEA and other Syscoms (System Commands) have specific, well identified cross-cutting priorities where they focus their R&D spending. The specific topics in the SBIR/STTR solicitations are linked directly to those NAVSEA needs and must be evaluated by proposal reviewers as offering a high likelihood of addressing those problems to receive funding. They are always looking for products/processes that reduce risk, solve obsolescence, introduce competition and improve performance. Remember, it’s all about them.

thumb-Number-2-33.3-3875Know your customers.
Your customers and end users will include sailors/warfighters as well as the Naval labs and technical experts. Depending on your technology, they may also include prime contractors or lower tier suppliers. Develop a flexible and appropriate business model to engage these various customers at all levels.

large-number-3-clipart-1Keep your POC (Point of Contact) engaged throughout the project.
Your POC serves as your independent technical expert regarding the needs and requirements of your customers, as well as serving as your advocate with the government. Maintain regular contact and provide timely updates–keep the relationship active throughout the process.

thumb-Number-4-33.3-3878Don’t forget that Phase IIs (and sequential Phase IIs) can be granted at any time after completing your original Phase I or Phase II.
Even if your Phase I or Phase II project from ANY agency did not progress beyond that Phase, DoD has begun to “reach back” and grant a regular or sequential Phase II award without time limitations. So if you’ve had a prior award (even many years ago), consider new or renewed applications as an opportunity for the procurement office to provide additional SBIR/STTR funds without further competition. This allows them to move forward with technologies that have already been at least preliminarily proven.

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Becky Aistrup is a Principal Consultant with BBCetc

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Revenue Projections Should Match SBIR/STTR Commercialization Plan

May 2nd, 2016 | by Michael Kurek

As you go about preparing the revenue projections for your SBIR/STTR proposal, be aware that reviewers will make two assumptions about your revenue projections: 1) they’re based on guesses, and 2) the numbers are over-estimated. Typically, they are correct 99+% of the time. So your goal is not to convince them that yours are “conservative”

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Four Tips to Prepare for DoD’s New Solicitation

April 19th, 2016 | by Becky Aistrup

The Dept. of Defense (DoD) will pre-release its SBIR 2016.2 and STTR 2016.B on April 22 when components participating in the solicitation will issue the topics for which they seek proposals. If you think your technology might have an application for a DoD component and topic, here are four things you should be thinking about

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FINANCING PLAN A KEY PIECE OF SBIR/STTR COMMERCIAL PLAN

April 19th, 2016 | by Michael Kurek

SBIR Program Managers know that their awardee companies will need resources beyond the R&D funding their programs provide in order to successfully commercialize their innovation. In the Commercialization Plan the reviewers expect to see a clear description of the resources the applicant Company expects to need and a credible plan for obtaining those resources. The

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Determining Salaries in NSF SBIR/STTR Projects

February 17th, 2016 | by Michael Kurek

One question frequently asked by clients preparing SBIR/STTR proposals is “how do I determine salaries for my project team members”? The National Science Foundation (NSF) requires applicants to align salaries to wage data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and describes the process in the NSF SBIR Salary Validation Guide. The process is

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After Six Years of SBIR/STTR Blogging, Our 24 Faves

January 6th, 2016 | by Jayne Berkaw

At BBCetc, we are constantly challenging ourselves to develop blog content that will be useful and instructive to our clients and readers. In pondering new topics we thought it might be interesting to see what we’ve posted over the past nearly six years (our first post was March 8, 2010!), and after taking a look,

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Our TOP 10 Tips for SBIR/STTR Success

December 28th, 2015 | by Jayne Berkaw

As we look forward to 2016, the time seems right to once again share our Top 10 Tips for SBIR/STTR success. We arrived at these tips through long experience with the proposal preparation and submission hick ups that we see regularly and that can lead to great consternation (or worse) for SBIR/STTR applicants.  So start the new

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Technical Advisory Board Can Lend Insight and Credibility

December 1st, 2015 | by Becky Aistrup

A Technical Advisory Board (also known as a Scientific Advisory Board) can provide significant advantages to your start-up business when you are in the process of seeking funding from equity investment or non-dilutive funding such as SBIR/STTR grants. Most businesses create advisory boards when there are subject areas where objective expert outsiders can enhance the

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How do I know if NIH is interested in funding my project?

November 12th, 2015 | by Andrea Johanson

The NIH is one of the ‘easier’ federal agencies to apply to because every year it issues an Omnibus Solicitation, requesting investigator-initiated topics. This means that rather than telling you exactly which projects they will fund, the NIH asks you, the investigator, to come up with the ideas. As long as these ideas are related

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What do a federal grant and robot cockroaches have in common?

October 14th, 2015 | by Lisa Kurek

A recent essay by Lisa Kurek, BBCetc Managing Partner, NPR affiliate Michigan Radio’s “The Next Idea.” All it takes is one new innovation or one new successful company to change the economic fortunes of an entire city or region. More often though, it’s the cumulative effect of many new innovations and successful companies that create

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