Catalyzing Women's Success in SBIR/STTR Funding

Are you looking for non-dilutive funding through the SBIR/STTR program? Want expert personalized assistance?

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs fund high-impact, innovative technologies with large commercial potential. These government funds can go a long way: your company can receive up to a million dollars of non-dilutive funding to help develop your technology for the marketplace.

Our SBIR/STTR assistance workshops will walk you through the ins and outs of SBIR/STTR funding, which federal agency you should apply to, what reviewers are looking for, and how to write a successful application.

SBIR/STTR Workshops

Please note that you are not required to attend all three workshops (they are not sequential). Workshops will be held virtually until in-person events can safely resume at the Cove @ UCI.

Workshop Topic Description Date Time Zoom Registration Link
1 Using Specific Aims to Organize your SBIR Research Plan Strong Specific Aims can organize the whole Research Plan, and are usually the first thing that NIH External Peer Reviewers will read. Use the Specific Aims to outline your research plan in a single page, then start writing the proposal. Wednesday, July 15, 2020 10 AM - 11 AM PST Register
2 Budgets for SBIR Grants (NSF, NIH) The SBIR budget should include Direct Costs, Indirect Costs, and the “Fee”. Don’t leave money on the table – learn how different agencies set the expectations for each of these categories of your total cost budget. Wednesday, July 22, 2020 10 AM - 11 AM PST Register
3 Writing SBIR Research Plans with Enough Technical Detail The biggest mistake in writing a first SBIR/STTR proposal for any agency is not providing enough technical detail for reviewers to assess your proposal. Learn more about the level of technical detail reviewers require to evaluate your proposal. Wednesday, July 29, 2020 10 AM - 11 AM PST Register


What is the SBIR/STTR program?

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program are the Nation’s largest source of early stage/high risk funding for start-ups and small businesses. Each of these programs have three Phases:

  • Phase I is the concept phase. It lasts six to twelve months and supports exploration of the technical merit or feasibility of an idea or technology.
  • Phase II awards may last for up to two years and expand upon the Phase I results. During this time, the R&D work is performed.
  • Phase III is the period during which Phase II innovation moves from the laboratory into the marketplace. No SBIR funds support this phase. The small business must find funding in the private sector or secure it from other non-SBIR Federal Agency funds that can fund continued development.

Am I eligible for SBIR/STTR funding?

To be eligible, the small business must be primarily American-owned, organized as a for-profit entity, and have less than 500 employees.

Why apply for SBIR/STTR funding?

There are a lot of benefits to SBIR/STTR funding, including:

  • Stable, non dilutive funding (not a loan!) for to conduct research and development
  • Small business retains intellectual property rights
  • Small business does not give up equity
  • Validate and de-risk technology for future funding opportunities (investors, partners, etc.)

For more information, please visit:

Who should take these workshops?

Individuals or groups who are interested in advancing research towards commercialization, or those who have technology companies and are seeking to fund their research and development activities.

Are these workshops for women only?

No, these workshops are open to anyone regardless of gender. However, our mission is to support women in technology and entrepreneurship, so please pass along this opportunity to those you may know who fit this profile.


For any other questions, please contact Sophia Lin

About the Workshop Instructor

Molly Schmid, PhD is a Senior Consultant for the SBDC at UCI Beall Applied Innovation and a member of the Tech Coast Angels Inland Empire network. She is also Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Al Mann Institute, an Adjunct Professor at the Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at USC Marshall and a lecturer at UCLA Anderson. She has served in senior executive roles in biotechnology companies at ieCrowd (Riverside CA), Affinium Pharmacuticals (Toronto ON), Genencor International (Palo Alto CA), and Microcide Pharmaceuticals (Mountain View CA). In these companies, she was part of executive teams that raised over $100MM in funding through venture capital, corporate partnerships, public markets, and US and Canadian federal research grants. She also had an academic career, and was a Professor at Keck Graduate Institute (Claremont CA) and Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. She has served on NSF and NIH review panels, where she was a grant reviewer for many years and also served as chair of SBIR/STTR review panels for NIH. She has nine issued U.S. patents, and several others pending. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. She received her B.S. degree in Biology from University at Albany-SUNY, and her Ph.D. degree in Biology from University of Utah.