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Elevate Idaho: Idaho's link to the SBIR/STTR Program


Helping Idaho’s Technology Entrepreneurs

About the SBIR/STTR Program                                                                                  About Elevate Idaho


Elevate Idaho helps early-stage Innovators compete for federal research and development funds through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs – America’s Seed Fund – and connect to resources they need to take their venture to the next level of success!


Elevate Idaho is a unique partnership that consists of a strong statewide network of professional regional, state, university and federal mentors with expertise in the SBIR/STTR Grant Programs. This unique partnership provides a one-stop solution for Idaho startups and emerging companies working on technology innovations with commercial value.

Elevate Idaho offers free consultations, training, and proposal assistance to help Idaho Companies succeed in winning SBIR and STTR Grants, which in turn creates a solid foundation to build a robust SBIR/STTR Program across Idaho.

Through Elevate Idaho, SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Centers were created across the state to provide virtual training and educational workshops, virtual one-on-one consulting, virtual writing assistance, virtual proposal reviews, virtual assistance with strategic commercialization planning, and real-time collaboration between researchers, entrepreneurs, innovators, start-ups and tech-based economic development partners across Idaho. The Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Centers also provides the means for collaboration opportunities that would not otherwise have taken place, and most important, strengthen Idaho’s regional and statewide entrepreneurial and research ecosystem.

The SBIR and STTR Programs are non-dilutive funds dedicated to the research and development of new technologies with commercial value. Non-dilutive funds are funds that do not require a business to give up equity or ownership of their company. Whether you are a beginner, or a novice in the grant research and grant writing process, the Elevate Idaho Team is here to assist you every step of the way!

For more information contact: Teresa McKnight, CEO of REDI.



Elevate Idaho’s services provide Idaho’s technology-oriented companies a distinct advantage in today’s competitive environment. Services include:

  • Mentorship – small technology companies receive mentorship with connections to business counseling, lab space, prototype creation, and other resources to build and grow their business.
  • Direct Proposal Assistance – one on one proposal review for SBIR/STTR applicants.
  • Training – based on particular opportunities and requirements of participating federal agencies, including research of topics, the application process, and best practices.
  • Federal Program Officers – connections with federal program managers from SBIR/STTR federal agencies.
  • Agency Training – based on particular nuances and requirements of participating agencies, including finding topics, the application process, and best practices to seek funding and awards.
  • University and Idaho National Laboratory Technology Transfer – collaboration with Idaho's University's and the Idaho National Laboratory Tech Deployment Office.
  • Funding Network – small business connections to other sources of funding.
  • Business and Industry – group collaboration to enhance opportunities and strengthen Idaho’s innovation ecosystem.

Elevate Idaho helps Idaho’s small technology businesses successfully win R&D funding and commercialize life-changing technologies that impact our state and global economy.



Interested in learning more about the SBIR and STTR Programs? We encourage you to attend one of the following Elevate Idaho Workshops in 2024. For more information, contact Bam Omotowa to register for the monthly SBIR/STTR workshops or to be added to e-distribution list.

Upcoming Workshop:

July 10, 2024

1:00 p.m. (MST) - 2:00 p.m. (MST)

Webinar Class - MasterClass: Market Segmentation
NOTE: Attendance is by special invitation only for Idaho entrepreneurs who have, or are in the process, of submitting a Phase I or Phase II SBIR/STTR Grant proposal.

1/17/2024 12:00 p.m. (MST) Elevate Idaho Partnership VC & Angel Partners Scott Brovsky - UC Riverside Entrepreneur-in-Residence
2/7/2024 12:00 p.m. (MST) What is Innovation vs. Invention, basic introduction to the purpose, eligibility requirements, structure of the SBIR and STTR programs and which one is right for me? Lori Manning - APEX, Bam Omotowa - APEX, Dave Noack - SBDC, Teresa McKnight - REDI
2/14/2024 12:00 p.m. (MST) Webinar Class - MasterClass: Topic TBD Lori Manning - APEX, Neil Tocher - ISU
2/21/2024 12:00 p.m. (MST) Priorities and funding opportunities of the NIH-NINR SBIR/STTR program Dr. Karen Ann Kehl - National Institute of Nursing  Research Program Director, Augie Diana - National Institute of Nursing Research Program Director
3/6/2024 12:00 p.m. (MST) Introduction and Overview of SBIR/STTR Funding Agencies and Structure of the Solicitations. Marching Agency needs to your core competencies. Lori Manning - APEX, Bam Omotowa - APEX, Dave Noack - SBDC, Teresa McKnight - REDI
3/13/2024 12:00 p.m. (MST) Webinar Class - Masterclass: Elevate Idaho MasterClass for SBIR/STTR proposal preparation Lori Manning - APEX, Neil Tocher - ISU
3/20/2024 12:00 p.m. (MST) Meet the Primes- Idaho Matchmaker
Speakers from INL, IEC, and APEX
4/3/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) Preparing a responsive proposal - tips for preparing a responsive proposal to solicitation guidelines and developing your project pitch
Bam Omotowa - APEX, Dave Noack - SBDC, Teresa McKnight - REDI
4/10/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) Webinar Class - MasterClass: Master class will help SBIR applicants determine what problem they are trying to address and what opportunity is associated with solving that problem Bam Omotowa - APEX, Neil Tocher - ISU
4/17/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) AFWERX/SpaceWERX 101 Jenna Roueche - Specific Topic Program Manager at SpaceWERX
5/1/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) workshop cancelled due to conflicting with the Idaho Rural Summit  
5/8/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) Webinar Class - MasterClass: Webinar Class - MasterClass: Competitive analysis in the Startup World. This Master Class will help SBIR/STTR applicants determine their competition, competitive advantage and create a differentiator for their innovation for addressing the market
opportunity associated with solving an identified problem.
Bam Omotowa & Neil Tocher
5/15/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SBIR Program April Richards - Program Manager SBIR
6/5/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) How to Access Innovation Research Funding Dave Noack - SBDC
6/12/24 12:00 p.m. (MST)

Webinar Class - MasterClass: The Influence of Business Type on Pricing, Market Entry, and Investor/Customer Attraction

NOTE: Attendance is by special invitation only for Idaho entrepreneurs who have, or are in the process, of submitting a Phase I or Phase II SBIR/STTR Grant proposal.

Neil Tocher - ISU College of Business
6/19/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) NIH/OD - Cancellation due to scheduling conflict with the June 19th Federal Holiday. We will reschedule the NIH/OD Direct NIH Small Business Program Manager to present at a later date. Stephanie Fertig - NIH/OD Direct NIH
Small Business Program
7/3/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) NO WORKSHOP SCHEDULED - Due to Fourth of July Holiday  
7/10/24 1:00 p.m. (MST) Webinar Class - MasterClass: Market Segmentation Neil Tocher - ISU College of Business, Roger Akers - Akers Capital
7/17/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) Best IP Practices for Startups Bradlee R. Frazer - Hawley Troxell
8/7/24 12:00 p.m. (MST)  Establishing Relationships for your SBIR/STTR Proposal Bam Omotowa - APEX, Dave Noack- SBDC, Teresa McKnight - REDI
8/14/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) Webinar Class - MasterClass: Financial projections Neil Tocher - ISU College of Business
8/21/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) USDA SBIR/STTR Program and Awards Dr. Nurun Nahar - Program Specialist USDA Division of Bioenergy
9/4/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) Stay On Top of Approaching Deadlines Bam Omotowa - APEX, Dave Noack- SBDC, Teresa McKnight - REDI
9/11/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) Webinar Class - MasterClass: Validation of your Market offering and customer base Neil Tocher - ISU College of Business
9/18/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) DOE SBIR/STTR Program and Awards Eileen Chant - DOE SBIR/STTR Outreach
Program Manager
10/2/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) Develop a Funding Strategy that Incorporates Grants and
Contracts - Grants vs. Contracts
Bam Omotowa - APEX, Dave Noack- SBDC, Teresa McKnight - REDI
10/9/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) Webinar Class - MasterClass: Brand Development and Marketing Plan Neil Tocher - ISU College of Business
10/16/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) NASA SBIR/STTR Program and Award Kim Augone - Outreach & Engagement
11/6/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) SBIR Data Rights & Cybersecurity TBA
11/13/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) Webinar Class - MasterClass: Startup funding alternatives – Innovation competitions, Crowd Funding, grant/government funding, and small business loans Neil Tocher - ISU College of Business
11/20/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) Federal Program Manager Speaker - Department of Transportation (DOT) SBIR/STTR Program and Awards Rachael Sack - DOT
12/4/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) Building Out a Commercialization Team and Seeking Other Types of Funding Opp Scott Brovsky - UC Riverside Entrepreneur-in-Residence
12/11/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) Webinar Class - MasterClass: Are incubators and/or accelerators a fit for your startup firm? Neil Tocher - ISU College of Business
12/18/24 12:00 p.m. (MST) Small Business and Commercialization Opportunities in Environmental Health Science and Engineering with NIEHS’s Superfund Research Program

 Dr. Heather Henry - NIH/NIEHS






















Idaho's Success Stories

Information Forthcoming


Frequently Asked Questions

SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) and STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) grants fund small businesses research and development (R&D) projects. Every year, the federal government sets aside $4 billion to help small businesses minimize risk so innovative technology moves to commercialization.

There are eleven federal agencies that participate under the SBIR program, five of which also participate in the STTR program. Both programs are congressionally mandated programs. These non-equity dollars are set aside to assist in moving forward a company’s research and development efforts. Because they are non-dilutive federal dollars, there is no loss of equity or ownership, and no payback of funds required.

There is approximately $3.6 billion dollars available under eleven federal agencies to fund small business research and development through the SBIR and STTR programs. These dollars are offered in competitive phases:

  • Phase I typically offers $150,000 to $225,000 for a six-month project to prove the feasibility and technical merit of your idea or technology.
  • Phase II typically offers $1 million to $1.5 million for a 24-month project and is meant to expand the Phase I results and evaluate commercial potential.
  • Phase III takes place as the technology moves from the laboratory to the marketplace. While SBIR and STTR funds do not support this phase, some agencies offer sole-source contracts or follow-on non-SBIR funded research and development to help small businesses commercialize a product.

SBIR/STTR funds can be used for:

  • Salaries and fringe benefits
  • Overhead costs
  • Materials and Supplies
  • Consultants 
  • Subcontractors

SBIR/STTR funds cannot be used for:

  • Attorney fees and Patent Costs
  • Marketing
  • Brick and mortar
  • Setting up a lab

However, a reasonable fee or profit of up to 7% can be included in the budget. These funds can be used at the discretion of the small business in any category.

All companies that possess an Idaho business license and are eligible for the federal SBIR/STTR program. Individuals can contact the Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Team to learn more.  

The company must meet the following federal requirements:

  • For-profit company
  • American-owned
  • At least 51% owned by individual(s)
  • Have 500 or fewer employees (determined by NAICS code)

To apply for SBIR or STTR funding, you may:

  • Contact the Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Team. The Team will get acquainted with your company and your project.  They will help assess your technology and provide feedback in regard to how well you fit within the SBIR/STTR programs and identify any gaps found during the assessment.
  • We encourage interested companies to begin the process early to register their business through the federal registration process.  Please contact the Idaho APEX Office to assist you with registration.  
  • In addition, we encourage you to search for an agency and topic that meets the needs of your technology and aligns with your business strategy. If you are not sure, one of the Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Team members can help you with this process.
  • It is important, once you identify the agency and topic, you read through the solicitation process and begin drafting an outline of your plan for your Phase I.  
  • At any time, you can contact the representative of the selected federal agency and solicit a topic by email to request a meeting by phone to discuss your plan.
  • After you meet with the representative of the selected federal agency, and you decide you want to pursue a SBIR or STTR grant, you will work with the Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Team to draft your proposal.
  • We encourage you to work with the Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Team to assure your proposal is strong, your budgets complete, and any additional required documents have been completed.
  • Once the above is completed, you can begin to finalize all documents and organize the documents in a packet for submission.

The information outlined is a brief overview to guide you through the process. Please do not hesitate to contact the Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Team if you have questions or require assistance. Additionally, we encourage you to participate in our Workshop sessions to learn more about the program, the process, and the tools to develop and move your application forward.

We offer a full range of services to small businesses interested in SBIR and STTR funding.  Services include:

  • Consultations
  • Training through Workshops 
  • Proposal guidance and evaluation
  • Grant Writing Assistance Services (provided by the Idaho State University Commercialization Center)
  • Review and editing
  • Submission assistance

  • There is no cost for the services outlined.  
  • If you participate in the SBIR/STTR Road Tour, there may be a nominal cost for additional workshops and seminars for this once-a-year opportunity.

The SBIR Road Tour is a national outreach effort connecting entrepreneurs working on advanced technologies directly to Federal agencies and the resources they have to support technology commercialization. Since its inception in 2015, the SBIR Road Tour has visited every state and Puerto Rico. These stops have brought together local innovation ecosystems around the country and connected entrepreneurs to additional resources to help their small businesses start and grow.

In the past, the yearly SBIR Road Tour has been held in Idaho Falls and Boise. Due to COVID, the 2020 Road Tour was held virtually. The 2021 Road Tour will be a national virtual tour.  For more information on the Idaho SBIR Road Tour, please click on the following link: SBIR Road Tour – Seeding America's Future Innovations.

Agencies are mandated by Congress to participate in the SBIR program when their extramural research budget is greater than $100 million and under the STTR program when it is over $1 billion. Currently, 11 agencies participate in the SBIR program, of which, five also participate in the STTR program. A list of Agencies can be found by clicking the following link - SBIR-STTR Agency Contacts. You will also find a list below:

For links and guidance on SBIR and STTR funding you can go to: or any of the individual agencies listed above. There are more than 7,000 possibilities or combinations for federal funding under the SBIR/STTR programs.

You can also search for open topics at: Open Topic Search

Nothing! There is no loss of technology ownership, no loss of intellectual property, and no payback of funds. There is a clause in the award language, however, authorizing the federal government to license the technology in a national emergency. Which has rarely ever happened. 

The Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center offers the following:

  • Free monthly SBIR/STTR workshops on the second Wednesday of each month.  Monthly workshops are scheduled at 12:00/noon.  Pre-registration is required.  It’s a great first step to learn more about the SBIR/STTR programs and meet our team members.
  • Call or email the Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Team to schedule a free consultation.


Current and Future Solicitations 

Stay updated on current and future solicitation openings.

View links to each of the SBIR/STTR participating agencies.

SBIR/STTR Funding Opportunities

Department of Agriculture
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture seeks to provide assistance to small-business concerns to enable them to undertake and obtain the benefits of R&D. It specifically seeks to fund early or "seed" stage research and development that has a commercial potential.
There are ten SBIR/STTR topics/program areas:
  1. Forests and Related Resources;
  2. Plant Production and Protection (Biology);
  3. Animal Production and Protection;
  4. Conservation of Natural Resources;
  5. Food Science and Nutrition;
  6. Rural and Community Development;
  7. Aquaculture;
  8. Biofuels and Biobased Products;
  9. Small and Mid-size Farms; and
  10. Plant Production and Protection (Engineering).
Awards:The total funding pool is $13 million for SBIR applications and $2.5 million for STTR applications.
Eligibility:Small business concerns.
Awards ID(s):USDA-NIFA-SBIR-010774
Department of Health and Human Services
Omnibus Solicitation of NIH for SBIR/STTR
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is accepting SBIR/STTR applications. There are four opportunities available:
  1. Applicants that have the research capabilities and technological expertise to contribute to the R&D mission(s) of the NIH, CDC, or FDA may submit an SBIR application to the award ID PA-24-245. Clinical trials are not allowed.
  2. Those interested in submitting SBIR applications with clinical trials that address the R&D mission(s) of the NIH and CDC can find more information at the link ending in PA-24-246.html.
  3. STTR applications should address the R&D mission(s) of the NIH. Applications without clinical trials should be submitted to the award ID PA-24-247.
  4. More information on STTR applications with proposed clinical trials can be found at the link ending in PA-24-248.html.
Awards:Multiple awards are expected.
Eligibility:Small business concerns.
Awards ID(s):PA-24-245, PA-24-246, PA-24-247, PA-24-248
NASA SBIR Program 2024 Ignite Phase I
  • Ai02.24:  Aviation-Ready Electrical Energy Storage for All-Electric or Hybrid Electric Aircraft
  • Hi02.24: Leak-Free Cryogenic Valves and Quick Disconnects
  • Si02.24: Decision Support Tools Leveraging NASA Earth Science Data
Open: June 10, 2024
Submission Deadline: July 30, 2024
2024-2025 EPA SBIR Phase I
Proposed topics include Clean and Safe Water, Air Quality & Climate, Homeland Security, Circular Economy/Sustainable Materials, Safer Chemicals
Open: June 2024 (expected)
Submission Deadline: August 2024 (expected)
NIH/CDC Small Business Transition Grant for New Entrepreneurs SBIR/STTR Phase I, Fast Track
Solicitation Numbers: PAR-24-131 through PAR-24-134
Open: August 5, 2024
Submission Deadline: September 5, 2024
PHS 2024-2 Omnibus Solicitations of the NIH, CDC and FDA SBIR/STTR Phase I, Direct-to-Phase II, and Fast Track
Open: Late spring, 2024 (expected)
Submission Deadline: September 2024
NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I, Phase II, Fast-Track
Open: Posted May 28 - June 17, 2024
Submission Deadline: September 18, 2024
Topics: Several
Open: June-July 2024 (expected)
Submission Deadline: September-October 2024 (expected)
DoD SBIR 2024.4; STTR 2024.D Phase I and Direct-to-Phase II
Topics: Several Open and Specific Topics from Army, DARPA, OSD, and SOCOM
Pre-Release: Topic-dependent
Open: Topic-dependent
Submission Deadline: Topic-dependent
Novel technologies to enhance national secuirty and support advanced military capabilities
  • GPS-denied Android Team Awareness Kit Compatible Self-Location Applications;
  • Stabilized Weapon and Reconnaissance Mount Tracker – Counter – Unmanned Warning Systems;
  • Psychological Operations Product Air Delivery Vehicles;
  • Non-attributable Mobile Mesh Network Radios; and
  • Distributed Electromagnetic Sensing, Automated Characterization and Simple Reporting Systems 
NSF boosts funding amounts for SBIR/STTR Phase I and Phase II programs to better support the nation's innovation and entrepreneurship community
Small businesses can receive about $2 million to create a prototype and commercialize technology.
The U.S. National Science Foundation has released new funding opportunities for its Small Business Innovation Research / Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs, increasing the maximum funding for SBIR/STTR Phase I awards to $305,000 and SBIR/STTR Phase II awards to $1,250,000 to further back development of the creative ideas coming from the nation's startups and small businesses. The SBIR/STTR program, also known as America's Seed Fund powered by NSF, provide non-dilutive funding for startups to develop deep technologies into commercially viable products and services with positive societal impact. The program focus on companies at the earliest stage of development; most are newly emerging from the private sector, federal labs and academia. These entrepreneurs are taking scientific and engineering breakthroughs and translating them into new generations of products and services that are commercialized into sustainable businesses.
To get started, an entrepreneur must submit a three-page Project Pitch to the SBIR/STTR team. This first step spares entrepreneurs the time and effort of preparing a full proposal if the proposed innovation does not align with NSF SBIR/STTR review criteria. If the proposed innovation does align, the company receives an invitation to submit an SBIR/STTR Phase I proposal. The program welcomes pitches and proposals spanning (see the website’s portfolio page). Project Pitch can be submitted anytime; however, proposals are reviewed after each of three annual deadlines.
In the late 1970s, NSF piloted the SBIR program for the federal government. Following formal establishment in 1982, Congress authorized the program and extended it to other federal agencies with significant extramural research and development budgets. The program continues to provide capital to technology startups for de-risking technology, building prototypes, and commercializing the resulting products and services for impact. Between Fiscal Year 2016 and FY 2023, NSF exceeded 4,000 awards to startups and small businesses. NSF-funded startups and small businesses have gone on to raise approximately $28 billion in private investments during FY 2017 to FY 2023, along with roughly 350 exits, according to Pitchbook.
For information on how to get started, visit the America's Seed Fund website.
Focus:  Integrating diverse perspectives from young innovators with novel technology concepts in support of U.S. Soldier capabilities.
Deadline for pentacharts:  October 30, 2024.
Topic: AI/ML tools to identify pharmacotherapeutic development candidates for substance use disorders (SUDs)
Submission Deadline: July 25, 2024
2024-2025 EPA SBIR Phase I
Topics: Several
Open: June 2024 (expected)
Submission Deadline: August 2024 (expected)
Solicitation Numbers: PAR-24-131 through PAR-24-134
Open: August 5, 2024
Submission Deadline: September 5, 2024
PHS 2024-2 Omnibus Solicitations of the NIH, CDC and FDA SBIR/STTR Phase I, Direct-to-Phase II, and Fast Track
Topic: Several
Solicitation Numbers: N/A
Open: Late spring, 2024 (expected)
Submission Deadline: September 5, 2024

Additional Resources


Contact Us

Teresa McKnight


(208) 522-2014

Dave Noack

Program Director, SBDC

(208) 523-1087

Bam Omotowa

APEX Counselor & SBIR Representative

(208) 535-3288


Satellite Offices and Contacts

The Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Satellite Offices are strategically located across the State of IdahoPartners include:



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