How to get Dilution-free Investment from the Government for Start-ups

How to get Dilution-free Investment from the Government for start-ups

Date:  January 18, 2022  6:30pm PST


Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants are designed to promote technology innovation and small business participation in the federal spending. SBIR/STTR “support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy”.

Coordinated by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and participated by most of departments of the federal government, about $3 billion are allocated to support SBIR and STTR programs in fiscal year 2018.

There are two funding phases of SBIR program. The objective of Phase I is to conduct a feasibility study of an innovation in 6 – 12 months with a funding level from 50,000 to 250,000. The objective of Phase II is to conduct an efficacy study and make the innovation ready for commercialization. The funding period is 2 years with a ceiling of 1.7 million. Only for-profit small business entities in the U.S. are eligible. The grantees of SBIR/STTR program will retain Intellectual Property (IP) rights. While very competitive, SBIR/STTR grant funding is an ideal R&D resource for start-up companies.

Dr. Zhang, an entrepreneur, data scientist, who have received several Phase I, Phase II, and Fast-track SBIR/STTR grants in the past 20 years, and served as a SBIR grant reviewer, will share his experiences in obtaining SBIR grant funding and provide advice on how to prepare a successful SBIR application.


Dr. Zhang is an entrepreneur, data scientist, and executive in residence for start-up companies. He was the CEO of KIT Solutions® LLC, a computer software company providing data-driven decision support service in the field of substance abuse prevention (1996 – 2014). As the invitation of the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, he served on the National Advisory Council for NIDA (National Institute for Drug Addiction) between 2007 and 2010. He received several SBIR/STTR Phase I, Phase II, and Fast-track grants in the past 20 years, and served as the chairperson for a recent SBIR grant review panel. Currently, Dr. Zhang serves as a senior business adviser to 3 start-up companies in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and augmented reality (AR). He is also leading a data informed decision support project funded by a Phase II SBIR grant from CDC for combating the Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) crisis.











Hong Nguyen-Phuong is an Amazon international best-selling Author (several months starting February 2020) in the business and leadership categories. He has spoken on technology-based disruption and agility at local chapters of the Project Management Institute, Silicon Valley Engineering Leadership Community, and CIO Vietnam. A veteran of Silicon Valley hi-tech, in project management and market development roles, Hong teaches software project management and enterprise agility at UCSC Silicon Valley. In the time of COVID-19, Hong’s focus has centered around remote and online facilitation and engagement, lifelong learning and skilling.


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