ASBTDC Wins FAST Funding to Support High-Tech Ventures
June 9th, 2015 by Gwen Green
For the sixth straight year, the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has won a Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program grant from the Small Business Administration for outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-based small businesses.
SBA announced the 20 awards totaling $2 million June 8.
FAST is a highly competitive grant program designed to stimulate economic development, strengthen the technological competitiveness of small businesses and improve the participation of small firms in the innovation and commercialization of new technology through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR). SBIR and STTR are sister programs that fund cutting-edge research and development to meet federal agency needs.
“FAST provides boots-on-the-ground support at local levels to help entrepreneurs compete and win SBIR/STTR awards,” said John Williams, SBA’s Director of Innovation. “These programs are the largest source of non-diluted early-stage funding in the world, attributing to the success of tens of thousands of firms since being established in 1982. Yet many entrepreneurs in cities and states across the country are unaware. The main goal of FAST is to increase that awareness through partnering organizations and level the playing field, especially in underrepresented areas.”
Janet Roderick, ASBTDC state director, said the center’s FAST-supported services to university researchers and innovative entrepreneurs, available at no charge, range from business modeling and planning to market and industry research.
“SBIR is an excellent way for small innovation-based companies to bring their ideas to life and to the marketplace, and we delight in helping Arkansas entrepreneurs find, apply for and win SBIR funding,” said Roderick. “Three Arkansas companies that are clients of ours recently won SBIR grants totaling over $444,000, so the opportunity is real.”