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March 10, 2016 | Tom Ballard

“SBIR Road Tour” coming in Nashville on April 20

SBIR Road TourBy Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

The billing is simple but enticing. The flyer reads that “America’s largest seed fund is coming to Nashville.”

On April 20 a one-day event called the “SBIR Road Tour” stops in Nashville, and Launch Tennessee is hosting it as a way to increase Tennessee’s success rate with two federal programs that collectively represent $2.5 billion in funding for early stage companies. Those programs are known by their acronyms – SBIR for the Small Business Innovation Research and STTR for Small Business Technology Transfer.

“They are stopping in Tennessee in an effort to raise awareness of the availability of SBIR and STTR funds and in an effort to increase successful applications and awards of those program funds to Tennessee based companies,” said Lindsey Cox, Launch Tennessee’s Innovation and Commercialization Manager.

The day-long events starts at 8 a.m. in the Tennessee Tower, 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, Nashville. This is the tall State of Tennessee office tower diagonally across from the Sheraton Downtown Nashville Hotel.

“The morning will be dedicated to Program Managers from the various agencies presenting their agencies, giving application deadlines, and highlighting specific things their agency looks for in a winning application,” Cox said.

There will also be concurrent one-on-one meetings scheduled between agency representatives and companies. The latter will be given an opportunity in advance to sign up for three agency one-on-one meetings.

“The afternoon will be programmed by LaunchTN and will be composed of various panels, including a Q&A with past SBIR winners,” Cox said. More details on afternoon programming will be available shortly.

Cox said the benefit for attendees is hearing directly from the agencies to which they are interested in applying to understand what they are looking for in a successful application as well as the opportunity to form relationships with program managers through the one-on-one meetings.

“There also are other benefits, such as peer networking and the afternoon sessions which will cover a variety of topics for someone in the SBIR space,” Cox said.

For those who wonder about travelling from other locations, Cox said Launch Tennessee is running shuttle buses to and from Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville to maximize ease of attendance for everyone across the state.

Registration to attend the event is $35, and the cost of the bus ride from the other cities is $15. To register for the “SBIR Road Tour” and the optional bus shuttles, click here.

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