Is NSF SBIR/STTR a Good Fit?
Non-dilutive grants from NSF SBIR/STTR can be an excellent source of capital for technology-based startups and small businesses. Learn more below about the types of projects and companies the program seeks to fund and what the program provides to grantees.
SBIR versus STTR
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are similar in almost every way. However, the primary differences are highlighted below.
(Academic, Non-Profit, or Federally Funded Research and Development Center Research Institution)
|Budget Allocation||Min. of 2/3 to
|Min. of 40% to
Min. of 30% to
Technology Readiness and Funding Philosophy
NSF SBIR/STTR seeks to assist companies with early-stage technologies that require additional research and development in order to advance commercialization efforts. The technologies must be highly innovative with strong commercial potential and satisfy a market need. For more context, view the following resources:
Technology Topic Areas
NSF SBIR/STTR solicits proposals under broad Technology Topic Areas. However, NSF SBIR/STTR recognizes that innovation often can't be categorized. Therefore, NSF SBIR/STTR accepts proposals in any area technology area that shows high commercial potential. To view the current SBIR Solicitation and STTR Solicitations for proposals please visit the How to Apply page.
Soliciting Pre-Submission FeedbackPotential proposers may (but are NOT required to) email a 1-2 page executive summary to an SBIR/STTR Program Director to help gauge whether a project meets the program's intellectual merit and commercial impact criteria. The summary should discuss: the company and team; the market opportunity, value proposition, and customers; the technology/innovation; the technical challenges to overcome; and the competition.
SBIR/STTR Featured Video
- Company Videos. Additional informative videos and video examples of SBIR/STTR companies can also be found on our YouTube channel.
- NSF SBIR/STTR About Us Deck. You can also download the NSF SBIR/STTR About Us Deck (.PDF) to get additional information about why NSF supports small businesses and startups and general details about the submission process.