FAQ: Why not just skip the whole NIH SBIR grant process and go right to looking for investors. Wouldn’t that be faster?
Answer: There are many benefits to developing an SBIR/STTR proposal, aside from the potential funding.
Aside from the possibility of gaining funding, writing the proposal, whether or not it is funded:
- Provides an opportunity for a review of your ideas and plans and feedback by peers, which helps you refine your ideas.
- Preparing your proposal gets you to connect with consultants that will likely be a benefit even if not funded.
Benefits if your proposal is funded:
- The business retains intellectual property rights and ownership of the company.
- The government provides resources to aid in the commercialization of the project.
- A history of SBIR/STTR funding helps attract other funding and support. It provides validation that potentially enhances investor interest, showing them you can pull a team together that could develop a product and that your idea stood up to scientific review.
- It makes your business much more attractive to venture capitalists, becase the value of the compnay has not been diluted by other investors.
Source: Franca-Koh J. & Davis S. Funding and Commercialization Resources for Small Businesses. SBIR Development Center. July 13, 2021.