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ASBTDC Receives $125,000 Grant to Assist High-Tech Entrepreneurs

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has received a $125,000 grant to assist companies pursuing federal Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) grants and contracts.

The U.S. Small Business Administration awarded the grant under the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership program. FAST seeks to improve outcomes in the SBIR/STTR programs for underserved communities by increasing participation from women-owned, rural-based, and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses.

“The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center is pleased to be among the awardees of the SBA’s FAST grant,” said Laura Fine, state director of ASBTDC. “Innovation and entrepreneurship are important to growing Arkansas’s economy, and this funding enables ASBTDC to continue our work helping emerging tech companies compete for and win SBIR and STTR awards.”

ASBTDC is one of 32 grant awardees who received up to $125,000 from SBA for specialized training, mentoring, and technical assistance for research and development (R&D)-focused small businesses under the FAST program.

“As President Biden often says, great ideas come from anywhere and everywhere,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Guzman. ”Supporting all our nation’s innovative startups and increasing equitable access to federal research funding is a priority for the SBA, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it will build a stronger future for all of us.”

This year’s recipients include state and local economic development organizations, Small Business and Technology Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, incubators, accelerators, colleges, and universities. All organizations will provide support to small businesses developing advanced technologies.

“Programs such as our annual accelHERate events, agency specific training, and Lab2Launch Accelerators are held virtually to make programs more accessible across the state,” Fine said. “We are very fortunate to have Rebecca Todd leading our FAST project. She is Arkansas’s leading expert on SBIR and STTR funding, and her clients praise the assistance she provides. Her knowledge of the programs is extensive, and she has good relationships with federal program managers at multiple agencies.”

Todd, the innovation specialist at ASBTDC, said she is looking forward to continuing to help research-based companies explore federal funding opportunities to commercialize their innovations.

“We help entrepreneurs and established companies by providing tools that set them up for success in writing their SBIR and STTR federal proposals as well as ones for state-level technology commercialization funding,” Todd said. “Through our Lab2Launch Accelerator, we provide focused, strategic guidance for statewide cohorts of researchers who are new to the SBIR/STTR program and seeking to prepare new Phase I applications for the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation. This program is a great way for participants to learn from each other and follow a curriculum-style approach to preparing competitive SBIR/STTR applications.”

For more information or assistance, contact Rebecca Todd at or 501-916-6721.