The Navigating America’s Seed Fund program is designed to help organizations and community leaders who work with entrepreneurs to develop a base of knowledge about SBIR/STTR programs. These include people who are working for Business Incubators, Startup Accelerators, Investors, Coworking Spaces, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC), Tech Transfer Offices, Colleges & Universities, and more.
This free program is intended to educate, and empower entrepreneur support organizations across the country to act as ambassadors on behalf of America’s Seed Fund. Completion of the course work will allow you to feel more confident in addressing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), identifying companies that might be a good fit for SBIR/STTR funding, and supporting local high-tech small businesses through the application and award process.
The Program The overall program consists of three separate courses, each with a unique curriculum. Completion of each course is a prerequisite to moving on to the next, as the information builds on itself. The three courses are:
Introduction to America’s Seed Fund - SBIR/STTR
Helping Potential SBIR/STTR Applicants
Helping First Time SBIR/STTR Awardees
The first of these courses “Introduction to America’s Seed Fund” launches in the coming month, with plans for the additional courses to be completed over 2023.
Each online, self-paced course consists of five learning sections which can be completed in about an hour, but allow for you to take your time to absorb the material, or go back and review. At the end of each section there is a quiz to check for understanding, and links to additional resources. Each section includes a downloadable .pdf presentation, ideal for sharing information with members of your local innovation ecosystem.
The courses are free, but registration must be approved by the SBA. These courses are not for individual companies or entrepreneurs; they are only available for those that provide training and support to the entrepreneur. SBA will use the information provided in your registration request to approve participation.
Course 1: Introduction to America’s Seed Fund - This course provides a high level walk-through of the key components of America’s Seed Fund, the SBIR/STTR programs, including participating agencies, eligibility, pre-application, solicitations, topic areas, and evaluation criteria. The focus is designed to give a basic understanding of what opportunities are available, and how to get started in seeking them out. By the end of this course, you should have a sense of how America’s Seed Fund fits into the support you provide to entrepreneurs, be able to recognize a company you would recommend doing further investigation on this funding opportunity, and know where to point that company for more help (if it isn’t you). SIGN UP TO BE NOTIFIED WHEN THIS COURSE IS AVAILABLE
Course 2: Helping Potential SBIR/STTR Applicants - This course is designed for service providers who want to be better prepared to assist their innovators in applying for SBIR/STTR funding. This course will delve into specific steps for applying to different agencies, understanding the parts of an application, and identifying best practices for strong applications. By the end of this course, you should be able to help guide an entrepreneur on whether America’s Seed Fund is a good fit for them, and support them in pursuing specific opportunities.
Course 3: Helping First Time SBIR/STTR Awardees - This course will help walk users through how to support small businesses who have received SBIR/STTR funding. It will present some of the key aspects of requirements, reporting, and funding. By the end of this course, you should be able to help a new SBIR/STTR awardee understand features and requirements, where to look for answers and support, and additional America’s Seed Fund features that can advance their company’s broader journey to the marketplace.
SBA’s participation in this activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.