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QB3 Registration for Small Business Grant Workshops Is Open


Life-science startup companies face unique challenges compared to tech startups.

For instance, they need initial access to capital for obtaining proof-of-concept data or for developing a prototype. Their dependence on space and facilities increases the initial financial commitment, and entrepreneurs have little control over the scientific phenomena driving success or failure.

For these reasons, a logical first step for scientist-entrepreneurs starting a company is an SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research grant) application.

SBIRs are grants awarded by government agencies, and have frequently become the funds that bring new science-based businesses to life as an important part of a successful “lean biotech” startup strategy.

However, the logistical and mechanical challenges of the application, often put some of these new teams at a disadvantage.

For example, familiarity with the mechanical aspects of the application is necessary to make sure that an application does not land on the pile of the 20 percent of applications that are rejected for technical reasons before even being reviewed.

For over three years, QB3 has been running 15-hour workshops focused on helping entrepreneurs file successful applications.

These workshops focus on crafting a well-structured research plan, getting persuasive letters of support, crafting an efficient budget and helping teams anticipate reviewers’ comments.

Students who have participated in the workshop obtain grants with twice as much success than the national average.

Teams filing these applications are commonly graduate students or postdocs who join their venture full-time upon funding, so this makes a nice way to line up a job.

QB3 has several success stories of graduate students who started with an SBIR application and have now received venture capital funding and have expanded their companies to dozens of employees.

The spring session for the course starts on January 22. For more information, please visit http://qb3.org/startups/box/sbir.