Grant Engine How To's

Essentials of WInning an SBIR Grant

The Why

Need funding to develop your life science products?

The  Small Business Innovation Research program has $1 billion from the NIH alone, not to mention other medical funding programs at the Department of Defense and National Science Foundation.

One of the biggest benefits of winning SBIR grants is that they do not dilute a company’s equity and still provide you with funding. To win an SBIR grant, start-ups and small businesses must create a winning application.

It is important for small business organizations to present their product clearly and convincingly, in a way that addresses an unmet medical need and has a differentiated impact for the patient and market segment.

The What

Considering the Scoring Criteria

There are five different scoring criteria when it comes to winning an SBIR grant: Significance, Innovation, Investigator/Team, Environment and Approach. Your job is to understand and address each of these criteria as best you can, demonstrating how your grant is worth funding.

Significance: If successful, how will the findings and products from your project change the current standard of care? Will you substantially affect the methods, technologies, treatments, and understanding within your field?

Innovation: How is your project different from the ongoing efforts already funded, especially by this agency? Why will your aims address concerns and answer questions that others haven’t already? Are the approaches different from those projects currently underway?

Investigator/Team: Why is your team suited for pursuing these aims? Do you have the necessary knowledge and experience needed to succeed in your efforts?

Environment: In addition to having a stellar team, will that team have the tools and space to fulfill your requirements? This can include infrastructure, physical and computational tools, and more.

Approach: Is your proposal based on the best existing evidence and designed to meet specific benchmarks? Have you accounted for all necessary ethical, legal, and financial obligations? In short – is your proposal backed by evidence and feasible as you have described it?


The How

Finding the Right Questions

Crafting a winning grant requires a holistic and inquisitive approach.  You must consider the products’ specific use, the features and benefits, and the differentiation of that product against current standard of care.

Try answering these questions to get started:

– What will your aims accomplish, and what problems will you solve if successful?

– What is the current standard of care in your field? How is your approach different?

– How will your success change your field, both immediately and in the far future?

Questions like these will help you craft your Grant Thesis, upon which all of the grant will be based. This provides you clear guidance throughout the process, ensuring that you don’t stray from your initial focus. Then, articulate the development approach in a detailed design-of-experiments manner. What goes into the development of the product?  What partners will you need to develop this product?  Are clinicians supportive of your product and team?

The When

Getting Started

You will find more questions than answers – this is a great sign that your process is robust and unbiased! The process can take quite a while, especially if you haven’t had success with the particular funding agency or process in the past. Working with external partners and gaining the insights of reviewers prior to submission can further improve your chances of winning.

Want to get a jump start on the competition? Contact us today for your free consultation!