Local Resources Glossary

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FAST Awardee

The Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program provides limited funding for organizations to perform targeted outreach, training and technical assistance aimed at increasing the number of SBIR/STTR awards in underrepresented geographies (states), and/or for business concerns owned or operated by women and individuals who are socially/economically disadvantaged.  Most current FAST awardees will be able to provide proposal assistance, connections to mentors, and possibly financial assistance to bridge Phase I and II, or attend relevant SBIR trainings and conferences.  Former FAST awardees may still be able to provide similar support.

Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)

MEP’s strength is in its partnerships. Through its collaborations at the federal, state and local level, MEP puts manufacturers in position to develop new products and customers, expand into global markets, adopt new technology, reshore production, and more.  And because of its direct contact with manufacturers, MEP serves as a valuable bridge to other organizations that share a passion for enhancing the manufacturing community. 

SBA Regional Innovation Cluster

Cluster initiatives focus on growing small businesses in the most promising industry sectors across the country.   From wood-products manufacturing in rural Ohio to advanced autonomous systems work in Southeastern New Mexico, each cluster purposely integrates small, medium and large companies and universities for business, funding and research opportunities that create jobs, attract capital and have long-term, positive economic impact.  As public-private partnerships, SBA clusters offer services to connect small businesses into the larger regional supply chain. Depending on the industries of focus,  each cluster provides a unique set of services for small businesses, but at the core, each offer specialized small business counseling and mentoring.  A centerpiece of many of the SBA clusters in high tech sectors is targeted workshops on SBIR funding, connections into R&D labs, and assistance in acquiring patents.

SBA Growth Accelerator

Growth Accelerators include accelerators, incubators, co-working startup communities, shared tinker-spaces or other models to accomplish similar goals. support the development of startups in parts of the country where there are fewer conventional sources of access to capital (eg: venture capital and other investors)

Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

SBDCs help entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing global marketplace. SBDCs are hosted by leading universities and state economic development agencies, and funded in part through a partnership with SBA.

State Contact

These are designated organizations that have direct affiliations with local and state government programs that can assist with high growth entrepreneurial development.

Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)

Over 300 locations nationwide designed to provide technical assistance to businesses that want to sell products and services to federal, state, and/or local governments. Mostly free of charge, they assist with registrations (SAM, GSA Schedules), small business certifications, research contract opportunities, and help with performance measurement and contract audits.


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