The 2018 national SBIR Road Tour will stop in Little Rock April 18. Organized by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the 18-state tour is an opportunity for Arkansas entrepreneurs with next-generation ideas to connect with the largest source of early-stage funding, the Small Business Innovation Research program.
Through SBIR and its sister program, Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), federal agencies award $2.5 billion annually to small companies developing groundbreaking technologies.
The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center will host the Road Tour stop at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
“We are dedicated to supporting America’s entrepreneurs wherever they are. American innovation is not restricted by geographic or cultural boundaries,” said SBA Administrator Linda McMahon. “This tour reflects our commitment to ensuring that these innovators are aware of the resources that can help them turn a big idea into another great American innovation story.”
Program managers from nine federal agencies, including the Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation, will meet one-on-one with attendees and share insights into how their agencies make funding decisions.
The SBIR/STTR programs award more than 4,000 new grants and contracts per year. The funding has helped U.S. innovators advance new technologies and create thousands of jobs, according to SBA. The agencies fund a wide variety of innovations in health, cybersecurity, advanced materials, unmanned systems and more.
The Road Tour looks to increase SBIR and STTR participation by women, small companies in underrepresented states like Arkansas and individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged. Small technology firms, entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers are encouraged to attend.
Participants can also learn about state-specific resources for innovation-based ventures during the afternoon session. Lunch will be provided.
There is no charge to attend, but pre-registration is required and available online. To learn more, visit asbtdc.org/sbir-road-tour or contact the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center at 501-683-7700.