WSU receives another round of SBA funding

For the third consecutive year, Wichita State University has been awarded funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to aid in stimulating economic development with outreach and technical assistance to science- and technology-driven small businesses.

The $125,000 award will be administrated by WSU Ventures, the university’s technology transfer department, which will partner with the Kansas Small Business Development Center and Center for Entrepreneurship to conduct a series of workshops, training classes and outreach to provide information to businesses that have an interest in submitting applications for funding through the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program.

FAST funding awardees must demonstrate how they will help support the following areas:

  • Small business research and development assistance
  • Technology transfer from universities to small businesses
  • Technological diffusion of innovation benefiting small businesses
  • Proposal development and mentoring for small businesses applying for SBIR awards
  • Commercializing technology developed through SBIR awards

The FAST program has a particular emphasis on socially and economically disadvantaged firms, helping them to compete in federally funded research and development through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

“FAST provides boots on the ground support at local levels to help entrepreneurs compete and win SBIR/STTR awards,” said John Williams, SBA’s Director of Innovation. “These programs are the largest source of nondiluted early stage funding in the world, attributing to the success of tens of thousands of firms since being established in 1982. Yet many entrepreneurs in cities and states across the country are unaware. The main goal of FAST is to increase that awareness through partnering organizations and level the playing field, especially in underrepresented areas.”   

WSU recently hosted the SBIR Road Tour, which was attended by more than 125 individuals interested in SBA FAST funding opportunities.

“Our goal with this program is to use the resources available through WSU to increase the amount of SBIR/STTR funding distributed to Kansas small businesses,” said Debra Franklin, director of strategic university initiatives. 

Small businesses interested in accessing programs available through the SBA FAST program should contact WSU Ventures at 316-978-5363 or innovation@wichita.edu. For more information visit http://wsuventures.org/for-entrepreneurs/sbir-sttr. 

About FAST

 The program is a competitive grants program designed to strengthen the technological competitiveness of small businesses and improve the participation of small technology firms in the innovation and commercialization of new technology. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa are eligible to receive funding for providing services such as outreach and technical assistance in support of the SBIR/STTR Programs. Additional information about FAST can be found at https://www.sbir.gov/about-fast. 

About SBIR/STTR 

 The programs represent the nation's largest source of early stage research and development funding for small businesses. The programs are administered by the SBA in collaboration with 11 federal agencies, which collectively supported more than $2.5 billion in federal research and development funding in fiscal year 2014. Companies supported by the SBIR and STTR programs often generate some of the most important breakthroughs each year in the U.S. For example, about 25 percent of R&D Magazine’s Top 100 Innovations come from SBIR-funded small businesses. Additional information about each program can be found at www.sbir.gov.

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 Contact: Tracee Friess, director of communication, WSU Ventures, 316-978-5597 or tracee.friess@wichita.edu.