TechConnect, West Virginia Small Business Development Center plan meetings

CHARLESTON — TechConnect West Virginia and the West Virginia Small Business Development Center will hold meetings across the state in Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer starting Jan. 28 in Wheeling.

The meetings are in the Bridging the Ecosystem in Science and Technology in West Virginia program.

“We’re thrilled to launch the ‘BEST in West Virginia’ program because SBIR-STTR grants are a source of non-dilutive, early-stage funding for small businesses and researchers, and we want to see them utilized more often,” said Anne Barth, executive director of TechConnect West Virginia.

Meetings will be held Jan. 28 in Wheeling, Feb. 25 in Morgantown, March 24 in Beckley, April 21 in Huntington, May 7 in Bluefield, June 2 in Shepherdstown, July 21 in South Charleston and Aug. 5 in Parkersburg.

For more information or to register, go to www.techconnectwv.org.

Participants will learn what is involved in developing a concept for a proposal, identifying opportunities, preparing to write an SBIR-STTR grant, best practices for successful applications and how to navigate the registration process.

The program is called “America’s largest seed fund” because it provides early stage funding to encourage small businesses to engage in Federal research and development to create commercially viable innovations.

“While West Virginia small businesses do win SBIR awards, our aim is to see a much higher number of both applications and awards in these programs,” Barth said.

The “BEST in West Virginia” program is made possible by funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Federal & State Technology Partnership Program. Details about the State of West Virginia’s new SBIR-STTR matching fund will be shared at the meetings.

Created with the passage of House Bill 2550 during the 2019 regular session of the Legislature, this program will provide a $2,500 WV Phase Zero grant to companies or researchers who submit an SBIR/STTR application; award up to $100,000 to companies who win an SBIR/STTR Phase I grant; and, award up to $200,000 over two years to companies who win an SBIR/STTR Phase II grant.

“We are excited to launch this incredible opportunity to create greater public awareness to entrepreneurs and researchers about SBIR/STTR opportunities,” said Debbie Magyar, In-Tech Program Manager, Small Business Development Center. “With the opportunity to receive grant assistance through the WV Matching Funds initiative, we strive to support West Virginia applicants with greater resources for submitting competitive applications and securing more SBIR/STTR awards.”