SBIR Advance third round opens for high-tech small businesses

SBIR Advance third round opens for high-tech small businesses

WEDC provides additional funds for UW-Extension Center for Technology Commercialization SBIR Advance partnership

MADISON, WI. April 23 2015 – The SBIR Advance initial success has led to additional funding, allowing the University of Wisconsin-Extension to again invite grant applications from high-tech small businesses for advancing commercialization. SBIR Advance is a partnership funded by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and managed by UW-Extension, which provides guidance on customer development, marketing and commercialization for grant recipients such as C-Motive of Madison.

Justin Reed, CEO of C-Motive, a recent SBIR Advance awardee said,  “The funds and Lean Startup training have helped us focus our business and allowed us to develop the customer market using direct feedback from customers, end-users and everyone in between. This is a unique and outstanding program and as a result we will be able to commercialize our products much faster than previously anticipated.”

WEDC’s initial investments funded $75,000 grants for 15 companies. Based on the success to date, WEDC is investing an additional $300,000 to fund at least four more companies.

The SBIR Advance Program aims to fill critical funding gaps for activities, such as market research and patent development, that are restricted under the federal awards applicants already hold. Unlike programs in other states, SBIR Advance provides funding upon completion of key milestones, including Lean Startup training, which significantly accelerate business development.

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.

“This important program is critical to creating an environment in our state that is both conducive to new business development and attractive to global investors,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Reed Hall. “It’s important to encourage these companies to start in Wisconsin and stay in Wisconsin, because companies that receive federal SBIR and STTR funds create the type of high-paying, high-skill jobs the state needs.” Applications for the third round – again up to $75,000 – are open. A brief online pre-submission at is due May 15, with the full application for this competitive grant due May 21.

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.

Program information can be found at Applicants also can contact Todd Strother, CTC commercialization consultant, or (608) 890-1015

SBIR Advance is part of a 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 challenges.


The Center for Technology Commercialization operates within UW-Extension’s Division for Business and Entrepreneurship. Follow us at @WisconsinCTC. UW-Extension, which receives the third largest amount of federal grants in the UW System, serves families, businesses and communities statewide through offices in all 72 counties and three tribal nations, continuing education services through all 26 UW System campuses, the statewide broadcasting networks of Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television, and small business and entrepreneurship activities throughout the state.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing Wisconsin’s business climate. WEDC nurtures business growth and job creation by providing resources, technical support and financial assistance to companies, partners and communities in Wisconsin. WEDC has four focus areas: business and industry development, economic and community development, entrepreneurship and innovation and international business development. Together with more than 600 regional and local business development partners, it represents a highly responsive and coordinated network. Visit or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin.