The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs stand out as critical catalysts in the dynamic technological innovation landscape, encouraging small businesses to engage in research and development with commercial potential. However, navigating the path from innovation to market can be challenging, often requiring more funding than what federal programs alone provide. To address this gap, state matching funds provide additional support to help companies bring their groundbreaking technologies to market, fostering job creation and stimulating economic development.

The Essence of State Matching Funds

State matching funds are financial grants offered by various state governments. State matching funds programs complement federal SBIR and STTR awards, amplifying the financial resources available to small businesses. These funds are not just about providing financial assistance; they symbolize a state’s commitment to nurturing innovation and supporting the local economy. It’s important to note that the information regarding these programs is based on publicly available sources and may not reflect the most current data available. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) compiles this information to assist potential small business applicants but does not endorse the outlined resources.

A State-by-State Exploration

Each state has its unique approach to supporting SBIR and STTR awardees. Here’s a glimpse into the diverse range of programs across the United States:

  1. Alabama: Innovate Alabama steps forward with its Supplemental Grant Program, offering up to $100,000 for Phase I and up to $250,000 for Phase II SBIR/STTR grants, matching 50% of the federal awards.
  2. Arkansas: The Arkansas Economic Development Commission boosts local innovation with up to $50,000 for Phase I and up to $100,000 for Phase II federal SBIR awards.
  3. Delaware: It’s a two-pronged approach here – the Delaware Technical Innovation Program offers transition grants for companies moving from Phase I to Phase II. At the same time, the Delaware Division of Small Businesses provides grants to STEM-based companies.
  4. Florida: The Florida High Tech Corridor Council uniquely matches funds for applied research projects involving local industry partners and university researchers.
  5. Hawaii: The Hawaii Technology Development Corporation matches up to 50% of federal SBIR/STTR awards, with a generous cap of $500,000 for Phase II.
  6. Illinois: The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity matches up to $50,000 for federal Phase I SBIR/STTR awards.
  7. Indiana: Elevate Ventures, in partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, provides up to $50,000 in match per Phase I federal award, with a lifetime cap of $150,000.
  8. Iowa: Bioconnect Iowa offers application assistance and financial support of up to $25,000 for successful Phase I awardees.
  9. Kentucky: The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development offers up to $150,000 for Phase I and up to $500,000 for Phase II through its SBIR/STTR Matching Funds Program. Kentucky Innovation further supports matching funds up to $100,000 for Phase I and $150,000 for Phase II.
  10. Maine: The Maine Technology Institute assists small businesses with a Technical Assistance Program for SBIR/STTR funding and Proposal Assistance Funding.
  11. Michigan: The Michigan Small Business Center matches Phase I awards up to $25,000, and Phase II awards up to $125,000 through the Michigan ETF.
  12. Minnesota: Launch MN grants support first-time Phase I and II awardees, offering up to $35,000 for Phase I and $50,000 for Phase II.
  13. Montana: The Montana Department of Commerce provides grants of up to $30,000 per phase annually, with additional support from the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development.
  14. Nebraska: The Nebraska Department of Economic Development matches Phase I and II grants up to $100,000 or 65% of the federal grant, whichever is less.
  15. New Jersey: The New Jersey Economic Development Authority grants $25,000 to businesses with Phase I, Fast Track, or Direct to Phase II federal awards.
  16. New Mexico: Offers a competitive grant process, awarding up to $100,000 for Phase II grants and up to $25,000 for Phase I.
  17. North Carolina: The North Carolina Department of Commerce matches 50% of the Federal SBIR/STTR Program award, not exceeding $100,000.
  18. Oregon: Business Oregon provides matching grants generally up to $100,000 for Phase II federal awardees.
  19. Rhode Island: The Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council offers up to $45,000 for Phase I and $100,000 for Phase II awardees.
  20. South Carolina: The South Carolina Research Authority matches up to 50% of Federal awards, capped at $50,000.
  21. South Dakota: The South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development offers up to $25,000 for enhancing Phase II applications or bridging work between Phase I and II.
  22. Tennessee: Launch Tennessee provides grants of up to $100,000 for Phase I and up to $300,000 for Phase II awards.
  23. West Virginia: The West Virginia Small Business Development Center matches Phase I awards up to $100,000 and Phase II awards up to $200,000.
  24. Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Economic Development Council and Wisconsin Center for Technology Commercialization offer matching grants for Phase I and II SBIR/STTR awardees, with various caps depending on the phase.
  25. Wyoming: The Wyoming Business Council matches up to $100,000 for first-time SBIR Phase 1 awardees and up to $70,000 for repeating Phase 1 awardees.

Crafting a Successful Application: Tips and Strategies

Securing state matching funds requires more than just a promising innovation. It involves a strategic approach and a deep understanding of state and federal objectives. Here are some tips to increase your chances:

  • Align with State Objectives: Each state has its economic priorities. Tailor your proposal to demonstrate how your project aligns with these goals.
  • Comprehensive Planning: Present your business plan, research objectives, and commercialization strategy meticulously. Show the states that their investment in your project is worthwhile.
  • Seek Expert Advice: Navigating the complexities of both federal and state programs can be daunting. Consider consulting with experts who can provide valuable insights and guidance.


The 2024 SBIR/STTR state matching funds represent more than just additional financial resources; they are a testament to the state’s commitment to fostering innovation that can reshape industries and enhance the quality of life. These programs bridge groundbreaking research and market success, enabling small businesses to reach new heights in their innovation journey.

State matching funds offer a golden opportunity for businesses poised at the brink of technological breakthroughs. Dive into the specifics of your state’s program, align your innovation with state goals, and embrace this chance to turn your groundbreaking ideas into reality. Remember to refer to the NIDA resource for the most current program details and embark on this exciting path toward technological and commercial success.


National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). “State Matching Funds Program.”