Success Story

Ben Franklin Technology Partners Assist Small Biz with Innovation Research, Tech Transfer & Funding

Ben Franklin’s Innovation Partnership (IPart) helps small businesses with innovation research, tech transfer, and funding. IPart administers services through a consortium of 15 economic development and business assistance organizations and institutions of higher education, located throughout the Commonwealth. Each of the organizations brings a unique perspective and skill-set.

Partner Organizations provide one-on-one counseling and business support service to clients seeking federal funding through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. Companies assisted by IPart have a twenty-one percent win rate, which is higher than the 14-17% national average across all agencies.

Assistance through IPart includes:

• Pre-Proposal Assistance Program – No-cost technical evaluations of client SBIR/STTR proposal concepts
via secure online submission. Clients receive a written evaluation of their proposal concept from three
subject-matter experts to be used for final proposal enhancement and improvement. The reviewer
pool includes 1,000+ experts with diverse scientific and industry qualifications, as well as extensive
experience with the federal agencies that participate in the SBIR/STTR program.

• Financial Support for Grant Preparation – MicroGrants and MicroVoucher funding awards of up to
$3,000 to support the costs of SBIR/ STTR Phase I proposal preparation. Funds may be used for professional service fees for market studies, for writing, editing, proofreading, critiquing and printing and for consulting fees that support technology development and commercialization. IPart also offers Federal Marketing Assistance (FMA) awards up to $8k to Phase II applicants to defray internal proposal preparation costs. These funds are repayable to IPart upon federal award to the client.

• Travel and Training (T&T) Financial Support – Funding awards of up to $1,000 to reimburse costs directly
associated with travel and training related to a client’s federal R&D funding proposal.

• Outreach – Training workshops and seminars from general overviews of the SBIR/STTR process to agency-
specific requirements, as well as proposal preparation and review with grant-writing professionals.

“Our assistance and programs are extremely beneficial to Pennsylvania-based small businesses who are seeking federal funding to grow their innovation(s),” says Kelly S. Wylam, Director of the IPart. “We are here to help our technology-focused entrepreneurs and small businesses with counseling, timing, and preparation in developing a winning federal SBIR/STTR proposal submission.”

Entrepreneurs who have used I-Part resources agree. “The programs, assistance, and advice, the IPart provides helped us significantly in our proposal improvement and to ultimately win a Phase I STTR from the NSF,” says Dr. Kamrun Nahar, CEO of Impulse Technology, LLC.

Contributing and supporting members of the IPart in the Central Region of PA are Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Central & Northern, Pennsylvania State University, the Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program, Penn State Small Business Development Center. IPart has assisted clients working with the TechCelerator Incubator Program, Happy Valley LaunchBox and Invent Penn State.

For more information on the Innovation Partnership and its SBIR/STTR assistance programs, please visit https://innovationpartnership.net or contact Kelly S. Wylam, Director at kelly@benfranklin.org.

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