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


Helping Idaho’s Technology Entrepreneurs


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: Lori Manning, Director of the Idaho PTAC Office or 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 2022. For more information, contact Bam Omotowa to register for the monthly SBIR/STTR workshops or to be added to e-distribution list.

1/19/2022 12:00 p.m.
SBIR/STTR Success Stories Idaho Recipients of SBIR/STTR Grants
2/16/2022 12:00 p.m.
Getting University Technologies to Market/Commercialization of University Technologies Jeremy Tamsen, Director, University of Idaho Technology Transfer Office
3/16/2022 12:00 p.m.
101 Workshop: Introduction to SBIR/STTR Programs Dave Noack - SDBC, Bam Omotowa and Lori Manning - PTAC, Tersa McKnight - REDI
4/20/2022 12:00 p.m.
Marketing & Commercialization Dave Noack, Regional Director, Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
5/18/2022 12:00 p.m.
The Importance of Intellectual Property including Data Rights & Patent Rights Jeremy Tamsen, Director, University of Idaho Technology Transfer Office
Rescheduled   Statewide SBIR/STTR Road Tour:
Coeur d’Alene, Boise, Idaho Falls
Elevate Idaho Team Members
7/18/2022 - 7/22-//2022 12:00 p.m.

America's Seed Fund Week                                                                                        Registration required at: https//

Federal Program Managers
8/17/2022 12:00 p.m.

Idaho Commerce IGEM - Helping Idaho Entrepreneurs Get Their Technology to Market

Carmen Archabal, IGEM Program Manager, Idaho Department of Commerce
9/21/2022 12:00 p.m.
Virtual SBIR Road Tour Elevate Idaho Team Members
10/19/2022 12:00 p.m.
How to Raise Early-Stage Angel and Venture Capital for your Deep Tech Startup Guest Speaker Scott Brovsky - Mentor/Advisor
11/16/2022 12:00 p.m.
Leveraging INL and Other Research Institutions for Success Jason Stolworthy, Director, Idaho National Laboratory Tech Development Office
12/21/2022 12:00 p.m.
SBIR/STTR Grant Process: Discovery, Proposal and Pitch Dave Noack - SDBC, Bam Omotowa and Lori Manning - PTAC


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 $3.6 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 PTAC 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.

Additional Resources


Contact Us

Lori Manning

Idaho PTAC Program Director

(208) 562-3746

Teresa McKnight


(208) 522-2014

Dave Noack

Program Director, SBDC

(208) 523-1087

Bam Omotowa

PTAC 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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