START Program to Accelerate SBIR Funded Projects in Massachusetts

A new program launched in Massachusetts will help companies commercialize technologies developed under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program by picking up where Phase II of the program leaves off, providing financial support, coaching and introductions to potential investors. The Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation will initiate the program with $6 million over the next three years.

The START program is aimed at helping companies transition from SBIR Phase II contracts, which fund technology development, to the commercialization stage, during which time companies typically rely on private sector funding. MTDC says a lack of private funding is impairing more technologies from coming to market and the START program will fill this gap by paying for patents, building prototypes, performing market research, and writing fundable business plans.

The program consists of three stages over three years beginning with stage I grants of $100,000 each for 10 applicants who have won SBIR Phase II contracts. Based on the progress demonstrated over the first year, an additional stage II grant of up to $200,000 will be awarded to five of the most promising companies. At the end of the second year, two companies will be chosen for a $500,000 investment based on growth potential. The process will be renewed annually. More information about the START program is available at:http://www.mtdc.com/start.html.

Attributed to: State Science & Technology Institute

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