The University of Wisconsin-Extension and the Wisconsin
Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) encourage high-tech small businesses to
apply for grants through the second round of the SBIR Advance state-matching
fund. Grants are available to recipients of federal Small Business Innovation
Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants.

The U.S. government created the SBIR/STTR programs to
stimulate domestic high-tech innovation, providing $2 billion of federal
research funding each year that companies can use for research and development.

WEDC provided $1 million to fund SBIR Advance grants,
which can be used for areas in which the federal grants can’t be used, such
as commercialization
, customer validation and market analysis. UW-Extension’s
Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) manages the program. In the first
SBIR Advance round announced in July, seven Wisconsin companies received
matching grants of up to $75,000 each.

Applications for the second round – again up to $75,000
–  are open. A brief online pre-submission at
is due Nov. 14, with the full application due Nov. 24.

“Wisconsin’s early-stage companies that receive federal
SBIR and STTR funds are on a path toward commercialization and the creation of
high-wage jobs,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Reed Hall. “SBIR Advance will fill
critical funding gaps for activities such as market research and patent
development restricted under federal awards that applicants already hold.
Unlike programs in some other states, SBIR Advance will provide funding upon
completion of key milestones, including Lean Startup training, which
significantly accelerate business development.”

CTC currently helps companies with SBIR/STTR grant
funding acquisition and will apply that expertise as they guide companies
through SBIR Advance’s business development goals.

“Recipients of the first round of match grants are
already benefitting from the Lean Startup Training,” said CTC Interim Director
Dave Linz. “And one company has already accelerated the pace of development and
is leveraging the state match to secure additional federal funding.”

Program information can be found at Applicants also
can contact Todd Strother, CTC commercialization consultant, or (608)

SBIR Advance is part of a new Start-Seed-Scale (S3)
initiative WEDC is pursuing with the help of the UW System and other business
leaders throughout the state to remove barriers to high-tech commercialization.
Under the S3 umbrella WEDC and its economic development partners are
implementing financial and operational assistance programs designed
specifically to address Wisconsin’s business startup and seed-funding