SBIR Impact: Measuring Its First Two Years
In the first two years of the SBIR Impact NYC program, over $5 million in federal funds have been awarded to program participants, representing a 25-fold return on investment.
SBIR Impact is a NYCEDC program designed to help NYC-based bio and health tech companies be more competitive in recruiting early-stage funding, SBIR funding is crucial as it addresses what the industry calls the “Valley of Death”—that crucial gap for any company after institutional research grants run out and before investors step in.
Each year, the SBIR Impact NYC Program offers 20 bio and health tech companies specialized assistance through a combination of advanced training workshops and one-on-one, expert proposal-development assistance.
“(Impact) provided us with a web of support to assist with the strategies of proposal development, the administrative hurdles involved with submitting the application, and now, as awardees, continuity with regards to the reimbursement and reporting requirements .”
Federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs provide over $2.6 billion of research and development funding every year to small businesses that are developing high-risk, high return technology-based products. As a competitive application assistance program, SBIR/STTR has over $1 million per project of non-dilutive (i.e. free) funding available.
SBIR Impact awardees are involved in developing new technologies that span the spectrum, ranging from revolutionizing treatment of bone-related injuries to helping healthcare organizations improve health outcomes and enhance their patient experience.
An SBIR/STTR grant or contract can be the make-or-break factor that allows these companies to cross the “Valley of Death.”
SBIR by the Numbers
The number of attendees that the SBIR Impact program trained in six public training sessions.
The number of applications received for intensive training and consulting.
The number of applicants who were accepted into six cohorts.
The number of SBIR/STTR proposals submitted by SBIR IMPACT client companies from 2013-2014.
Of the 32 companies that submitted proposals, nine have received a total of $5.2 million in grant awards. At 32%, this is two times the national average success rate—NIH cites national SBIR/STTR Phase I awards success rates to be approximately13-18%.
Starting in 2010 until the launch of SBIR Impact in 2013, NYCEDC, through its partner, BBCetc, conducted NYC-based SBIR/STTR training one-to-two times per year. This built a strong pipeline of NYC-based SBIR/STTR applicants that were awarded over $15 million in SBIR/STTR funding, including an additional $4 million for NYC success story, Nanometics (now called PHD Biosciences).
Thanks to the Impact program, these companies are no longer dreading the challenges of bringing their technologies to market. With rigorous training in proposal preparation, SBIR Impact participants have already begun to think through basic issues like team building, budget preparation, and commercialization planning to help them secure strategic partners and investors.
The support of NYC’s substantial bio and health tech entrepreneurial ecosystem—Harlem Biospace, Pilot Health Tech NYC, ELab training and coaching, among others—has also been instrumental in helping SBIR companies get fully integrated into the NYC environment.
In just two years, SBIR Impact has lived up to its name: demonstrating a measurable impact and helping biotech companies successfully cross the “Valley of Death.”
We can only imagine how many more companies will reap the benefits in 2015-2016.