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Tech-based Startups, Companies Invited to Learn about Landing Federal Dollars

More than $2 billion a year is available through federal agencies to technology-based companies that want to commercialize technological innovations through the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer Research program (STTR).

How can Western Pennsylvania companies land some of this money?

The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has initiated a free, introductory program to help area innovators understand the entire process.

On Tuesday, March 22, from noon to 2 p.m., small- and medium-sized business operators—as well as university students, faculty members and staff who want to or are already working in innovation research and technology transfer—are invited to attend an introductory session about the SBIR and STTR programs.

This is the first of three introductory programs Duquesne will bring to the region, which will serve as preparation for three daylong programs on how to win these grant awards and an upcoming September conference that will drill down the process further for those developing digital tools, medical equipment, clean technology or energy-efficient building technologies.

“We can help technology-based companies needing business assistance in developing products and bringing them to market,” said Dr. Mary McKinney, executive director of the SBDC. “We are always here to help companies start and grow their businesses. But with this training, provided by a new grant, we can help tech companies get their businesses off the ground from a financial standpoint and help them toward commercialization, which might include more interest from equity investors than in traditional businesses. We can also discuss issues of intellectual property and other areas specific to technology businesses.”

Since 1982, the federal government has set aside funds devoted to this type of economic development for incorporated businesses or startups.

“The idea is that the government is interested in research but also in helping benefit businesses, in support of growth and development,” McKinney explained.

Cynthia Laurash of the SBDC has been named manager of Western Technology Services for the SBDC program. She will present:

  • Tuesday, March 22 from noon to 2 p.m. at Duquesne University, in conjunction with the Duquesne University Office of Research, at the  Office of Research Conference Room, 4th Floor, Rangos School of Health Sciences, Uptown, 15282
  • Friday, April 8, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at The Chamber of Commerce Inc., 5000 Brooktree Road, No. 100, Wexford, 15090
  • Wednesday, May 11 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Erie Technology Incubator, 130 W. 8th. Street, Erie, 16501

Topics will include:

  • Program details
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Program benefits to business and researchers
  • Finding agency topics
  • Preparing and improving chances for success
  • An overview of state resources.

For more information or to register, call the SBDC at 412.396.1633 or email duqsbdc@duq.edu.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.