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March 01, 2018 | Tom Ballard

First stop on national “SBIR Road Tour” is Chattanooga next month

SBIR Road TourBy Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

It’s another big win for the State of Tennessee and Chattanooga.

On Monday, we posted more details about the May visit of Steve Case’s “Rise of the Rest Road Tour” to both Chattanooga and Memphis. As noted in that article, Tennessee will be the first state to host visits to three of its cities by the Founder of AOL since he started the initiative several years ago.

Then, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the first stop on its 2018 national “SBIR Road Tour” to 18 states will start April 16 in Chattanooga. The “Gig City” and nearby Huntsville are two of five stops on the Southern portion of the series that crosses the entire country before ending in late August.

Launch Tennessee is working with Chattanooga’s CO.LAB to coordinate the day. All activities will occur at the Edney Innovation Center. Registration is $20 per person with breakfast and lunch provided. Click here to register. The maximum number of attendees is about 170.

“The morning is dedicated to SBA,” according to Lindsey Cox, Launch Tennessee’s Director of Operations and Government Affairs. “Agency representatives will be presenting and also available for one-on-one sessions with attendees. Launch and CO.LAB are developing programming for the afternoon sessions.”

The Tennessee stop aligns nicely with the recently implemented SBIR/STTR matching grants program funded by the State of Tennessee and administered by Launch Tennessee. It is part of an effort to ensure that Tennessee start-ups secure more of these federal awards that represent undiluted capital.

At this time, representatives from as many as 11 federal agencies are expected to attend. They are: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); Department of Agriculture (USDA); Department of Defense – Air Force (USAF); Department of Defense – Missile Defense Agency (MDA); Department of Defense – Navy; Department of Defense – Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Department of Health and Human Services – National Institutes of Health (NIH); Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC); Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA); National Science Foundation (NSF) and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

For those attendees who want to schedule one-on-one meetings with agency representatives, Cox says it is important to register as soon as possible before the schedule of the federal executives fills-up.

“Once a week, I will be sending a weekly update of those who have registered on our Eventbrite website to SBA,” she explained. Then, SBA will send each registrant information to be completed to schedule one-on-one visits.

“You can schedule a maximum of three of these sessions,” Cox said.

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