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SBIR – America’s Largest Seed Fund

January 22 @ 11:45 am - 2:00 pm

Free – $35

Join us for our annual SBIR lunch event. At this lunch-and-learn, a panel of SBIR experts and successful grant awardees will deconstruct the application process and the major challenges and roadblocks, as well as speak to what this non-dilutive funding means to them, their companies, and their investors. Learn from their successes and mistakes; hear concrete advice about what really helped their application stand out from the rest!

To boost U.S. technological innovation and commercialization, our federal government has invested tens of billions of dollars in domestic companies since the 1970s through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants program.  Administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), and managed through 11 federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Science Foundation, the program provides funding and support to hundreds of grant awardee companies per year. These SBIR programs annually provide $2.5 billion in non-dilutive funding to small advanced technology firms represent America’s Largest Seed Fund.

Grant writing requirements for SBIR/STTR can make the process seem daunting, but, as with other types of fundraising, there are negatives and positives to this financial resource. Given the validation and non-dilutive nature of this source, it can be well worth the effort. At the end of this lunch, you will be empowered to find the right opportunity for you and your company, know where to go to get the help you need, and take the first steps to being a successful grant awardee!

Lunch will be provided!


Dan Lilly

Dan Lilly

SBIR Advisor at UMASS Small Business Development Center

Dan is the SBIR and Government Sales Advisor to the Massachusetts Business community at the University of Massachusetts Small Business Development Center. He is responsible for designing and implementing a successful statewide SBIR advisory program. Serving as Government Sales Advisor to Southeastern Massachusetts businesses with a primary focus on defense contracts. Dan mentors and reviews countless SBIR applications a year!


Laura Hales

Laura Hales

Founder of Extend Biosciences & The Isis Editing Group

Laura is an experienced entrepreneur and co-founder of Extend Biosciences & The Isis Group. Founded in 2010, Extend Biosciences was a finalist in the MassChallenge global startup competition and a semi-finalist in the WPI Venture Forum business plan competition. Since then, it has raised >$10M in non-dilutive funding, primarily from state and federal granting programs, including SBIR Phase I and II grants from NIH, NSF and the DoD. Laura is also a scientific and business consultant to start-up biotech companies and life science entrepreneurs (Harvard iLab, MassChallenge) and a freelance science writer and SBIR grant writer in the biomedical sciences.


Charlie Hipwood

Charlie Hipwood

Vice President at MassVentures

Charlie Hipwood is the vice president at MassVentures focusing on early-stage and seed investment in Massachusetts high-technology companies. MassVentures’s SBIR Targeted Technologies (START) program helps growing Massachusetts-based companies commercialize technologies developed under SBIR and STTR contracts. The START program plays an important role in powering Massachusetts’ Innovation Economy.


The Moderator: William Brah

The Moderator: William Brah

Founder and Executive Director of the Venture Development Center

William is the Founder and Executive Director of the Venture Development Center (VDC). He has 25+ years executive experience in policy, science and business. He raised $7.8 million to design, build and launch the Venture Development Center in 2009. It is the region’s first deep tech incubator, offering startup labs for scientists and engineers. He was also instrumental in pioneering the Massachusetts Global Entrepreneur-in-Residence program. So far, the VDC has launched 84 companies, which have raised $626.3M in venture capital and created 595 jobs. 35 SBIR/STTR awards totaling $13,914,211 have been awarded to 10 of these companies which raised $134,690,000 in follow-on venture capital.


January 22
11:45 am - 2:00 pm
Free – $35
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The Capital Network


Venture Development Center, UMASS
Wheatley Hall, Third Floor, 100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125-3393 United States
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