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America's Seed Fund Update for January 2021

Post Date:
January 19, 2021
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January 2021 - America's Seed Fund Update Newsletter

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SBA Recognizes the Best in SBIR/STTR Achievements with Tibbetts Awards

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced 59 winners of the prestigious Tibbetts Award, including 38 companies for their accomplishments in creating cutting-edge technologies. Organizations and individuals were also recognized for the creative and impactful ways they have supported the rising tech entrepreneur, especially in creating success with underrepresented communities. Details on each of the winners can be found on

Looking Back at 2020, Looking Forward to 2021

Highlights from the past year include:

  • Connecting thousands of innovators with a record number of SBIR agency program managers after the SBIR Road Tours pivoted to Virtual SBIR Week events. View the recordings from each region.
  • Collaborating with the National Women’s Business Council to understand how women have been included in SBIR/STTR and how we might do better. Learn more.
  • Refreshing and relaunching this newsletter to bring you relevant information!
  • Growing to over $4 Billion for SBIR/STTR awards, we look forward to continuing to work with you to translate America’s Seed Fund into meaningful impact.

National Entrepreneurship Week is February 13 – 20

Celebrate entrepreneurship and learn about Federal resources to support America’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.

News & Updates

Effective January 13, Dept of Defense (DoD) SBIR/STTR has new program and proposal requirements. This includes company commercialization reporting on Details on the new requirements can be found in section 5.0 of the 21.1 SBIR and 21.A STTR BAAs. Learn more.

The Dept of Transportation (DOT) issued 13 topics in its FY2021 pre-solicitation with an opportunity to submit questions before February 2. This year’s solicitation will include a Pitch Day, allowing small businesses to virtually pitch their proposal idea to Department staff. Read more.

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Council for Expanding American Innovation (NCEAI) seeks public comments to develop a national strategy to expand the innovation ecosystem demographically, geographically, and economically. Comments are due by February 8, 2021. Read the Federal Register notice.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) requests comments on proposed revisions to the Bayh-Dole regulations for Federally-funded intellectual property, including regulations that impact SBIR/STTR awards. Comments are due by April 5, 2021. Read the Federal Register notice.

The Interagency Edison (iEdison) reporting system for extramural inventions is being rebuilt for a 2022 launch. NIST is currently looking for volunteers for user test groups to provide critical feedback and shape the system. Read more.

NASA Spinoff's annual magazine highlights NASA technologies benefiting life on Earth in the form of commercial products. The 2021 edition includes ten examples with roots in the NASA SBIR/STTR programs. Read the full digital magazine

SBA’s Brittany Sickler discusses SBIR/STTR opportunities for North Dakota innovators with the North Dakota Compass. Read the article.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) opened a new portal on Jan. 11 and is initially accepting First Draw PPP loan applications from participating CFIs, which include Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), and Microloan Intermediaries. The PPP loans are designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses. SBA published additional guidance on accessing capital for minority, underserved, veteran, and women-owned business concerns. Learn more here.

Events & Education

FAST Center at Illinois Air Force and Special Operations Command SBIR/STTR Sprint Workshops. Jan 20, Jan 27, Feb 3 | 2:00 pm ET. Read more and register

Montana Innovation Partnership Online SBIR/STTR Cost Proposal and Government Accounting Workshop. Jan 21 | 10:30am to 6:00pm ET. Read more and register.

TechConnect WV SBIR/STTR Bootcamp. Feb 4 | 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET. Read more and register.

SBA and Ecosystem Building with the University Economic Development Association (UEDA). Feb 9 | 2:00 pm ET.

Missed the fall sessions with the MSI STEM Research & Development Consortium? Review the intro session with SBA or the webinar during the NASA Innovation and Opportunity Conference.    

Look for upcoming events at Submit an event at

Policy Spotlight

CBO report outlines entrepreneurship decline

Entrepreneurship has declined significantly over the past four decades, due to the effects of past recessions, demographic forces and possibly regulatory changes according to a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office. To help support future entrepreneurship efforts, the CBO recommends policymakers direct a share of the federal government’s spending on R&D to be set aside for new companies. Read the report and learn more about the findings here.

Local Assistance - Meet FAST

The Federal And State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program funded 24 organizations this year, building the SBIR/STTR ecosystem through outreach, technical assistance, and financial support. Meet two of the FAST awardees:

Connecticut Innovations is the state’s venture development organization, providing capital access and technical assistance to entrepreneurs and new companies. The state offers SBIR technical consultations, proposal reviews and more through CTNext. Learn more.

Delaware Small Business Development Center provides assistance to companies interested in SBIR through its SBIResource program and DEaLAB Accelerator Cohort. Learn more.

Not in Connecticut or Delaware? Find local assistance near you at:

SBIR Success - Telescent untangles the impossible and commercializes the technology with SBIR help

TelescentCalifornia -- Started with the vision of automating the physical layer of fiber optic connections by leveraging software sophistication, Telescent was able to demonstrate the validity of a KBS (Knots, Braids, Strands) algorithm using mathematical rigor, an approach many had thought impossible. With early support from the U.S. Department of Energy SBIR Program, Telescent began commercializing the technology. It has received three SBIR Awards from DOE’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) for a total of $4 million in funding, which also opened the door to significant Angel investments. Read more about the success Telescent has achieved and its plan to grow.

Get inspired by more SBIR Company Stories at

SBIR/STTR Funding Opportunities

Find more funding opportunities and specific topic areas at These are listed alphabetically by agency.

Dept of Agriculture (USDA)

SBIR Phase II. Due 5/3/2021.

Dept of Commerce (DOC)

National Institute of Standards and Technology FY2021 Phase I. Due 4/5/2021.

Dept of Defense (DoD)

DoD SBIR 2021.1/STTR 2021.A. Due 2/18/2021

Air Force CSO X21.1/X21.A. Due 2/18/2021

Dept of Education (ED)

Education Phase I Solicitation and Special Education Phase I Solicitation. Due 1/21/2021.

Dept of Energy (DOE)

FY2021 Phase II Release 1. Opens 3/1/2021. Due 3/31/2021.

Dept of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Administration for Community Living National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) SBIR Phase I. Due 2/2/21.

NIH, CDC, FDA SBIR/STTR Omnibus Solicitations next due 4/5/2021.

SBIR Technology Transfer (R43/R44 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). Due 4/5/2021.

Commercialization Readiness Pilot (CRP). Due 4/5/2021.

Additional targeted funding opportunities on specific topics with various upcoming due dates can be found here.

Dept of Transportation (DOT)

FY2021 Phase I Pre-SolicitationCurrently in pre-solicitation until 2/2/2021. Technical questions may be directed to DOT topic authors during the pre-solicitation period. Solicitation scheduled to open on 2/4/21, and an informational webinar is scheduled for 2/11/21.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

New Phase I SBIR and STTR topics are expected in the coming weeks.

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