SBIR Self-Assessment

Answer the questions below to gauge whether your company is ready to pursue SBIR/STTR funding.

Small Business

  • Does your business meet the SBIR/STTR requirements for size, annual revenue, and ownership limitations and restrictions?
  • Will the proposed work be conducted in the United States?

The Need

  • How does the proposed technology address an existing need in the field of interest?
  • Has the need for the technology or application of technology been identified and quantified? (Measuring the need for the technology requires research of current scientific resources.)
  • Have you identified the end users of your technology?

Technological Innovation

  • Is the technology state-of-the-art?
  • How does it compare to existing or alternate technologies?


  • Is the ability of the principal investigator (PI) clearly established through his or her education and research/work background?
  • Do you need staff with expertise in the technological field of interest to perform the proposed work effort beyond the PI?
  • What particular skill set or level of expertise can each staff member contribute to the project?
  • Does your PI meet the statutory employment requirements of the SBIR and STTR programs?


  • What specific objectives of the project can be completed in six months for $100,000?
  • Have you outlined an action plan with task-specific due dates and personnel in charge of each task?
  • Have alternative technologies or methods for using the proposed technology been identified?


  • Have you conducted a review of scientific literature related to the proposed project?
  • Have you studied sample SBIR/STTR proposals?
  • Have you reviewed the specific SBIR/STTR program criteria for each federal agency of interest?
  • Do the aims of your proposal match with agency missions?
  • Have you investigated previous SBIR/STTR awards given to companies that have conducted similar research in the past? (Searching through previous award winners can reveal specific areas of interest for each federal agency.)


  • Where do you intend to market your product?
  • What is the potential size of the customer market? Approximately how many people will benefit from this product?
  • What kind of relationships have you developed with potential customers?
  • Who are the potential competitors in the market? Who are potential partners?
  • What steps have you taken towards intellectual property (IP) protection?

Funding Potential

  • Does the project have the potential to receive additional funding by angel groups, venture capitalists, or other sources?


  • Has the technological innovation been reviewed by outside sources to evaluate its potential?

Proposed Benefits

  • What are the anticipated commercial and societal benefits of the proposed activity?
  • If the objectives of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be enhanced?