The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) has kicked off the application period for its 2021 Lab2Launch Accelerator.
Designed for early-stage Arkansas companies, the accelerator will guide a cohort of entrepreneurs through the process of applying for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant or a Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTTR) grant. During each accelerator, there will be a different government agency focus, and in the 2021 accelerator, cohort participants will focus on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Both the SBIR and SBTTR programs are competitive programs that invest federal research funds to encourage small businesses to explore commercialization opportunities. The purpose of the program is to stimulate high-tech innovation and spur increased research and development.
Entrepreneurs will receive training in a range of topics related to the SBIR/SBTTR proposal process over the course of eight weeks. These topics include “topic selection, budget preparation, technical writing and editing, market research and more,” according to the ASBTDC website.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the accelerator will be held virtually. There will be weekly virtual meetings, in addition to outside assignments. The ultimate project will be a SBIT/SBTTR grant proposal.
The NIH accelerator will be begin in January 2021, while the USDA cohort will begin in June 2021.
Applications for the NIH cohort are due by Jan. 6. The USDA application deadline is not currently listed.