In celebration of National Entrepreneurship Week, FORGE is bringing you an entire week of opportunities and resources, with each day highlighting a different area. We're now more than halfway through the week, with day three being the Federal and Gov't Eship Day.
Once upon a time, the Federal Government led the way for innovation in the United States. The internet, space exploration, GPS, medical devices, flu shots, are just a few examples of initiatives that were researched, developed, and fielded using government (i.e, taxpayer) dollars. Fortunately, the entrepreneurial spirit has thrived in the Information Age and the shift towards mostly commercial and academia innovation is well underway. With this shift, the United States Government is very keen on leveraging the talents of startups and university researchers to provide dual-use solutions for the public and private sectors.
The Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Energy (DoE) are just two of the Federal agencies who continue to champion for startups and academia R&D. They, and others, utilize Grants, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Tech Transfer (STTR) programs to award funding on a wide variety of topics to include sensors, automation, energy resilience, agriculture, AI/ML, medical, etc. Pretty much you name the solution and the US Federal Government probably has a need. You can learn more about SBIR/STTR here.
Throughout the year, the DoD and DoE sponsor challenges and/or post Open Topics for entrepreneurs to submit for funding. Because problems don’t usually arrive on a set schedule, the timing for these challenges and Open Topics varies throughout the year and at the FORGE, we are constantly researching and contacting the agencies to discover opportunities and resources for the entrepreneurial community. Here is a sampling of some organizations, with access to a lot of funding, who are actively looking for entrepreneurial help:
“We are a venture firm at the intersection of entrepreneurship, breakthrough technologies, and mission-driven organizations. Since 2015, we have been dedicated to providing entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and government game-changers a viable path to transition breakthrough technologies to real-world impact.
Our commitment to unlock the benefits of technology for all is possible with our deep relationships and collaboration that spans across the DoD, NASA, DoE, NIST, VA, federal labs, research institutions, universities and corporations. Through our startup studios, accelerators, internal innovation and corporate venture programs, we work with individuals, companies, and government agencies to stay at the bleeding edge of innovation.” Learn More.
“Unites Army SBIR funding and AAL’s business model to create a program that moves — and pays — at the speed of business. SPARTN helps U.S.-based small businesses advance their technology while supporting Army modernization priorities.” Learn More.
“We partner for commercial technology innovation to rapidly field high-value commercial and military capability and expand the network of innovative Airmen and Guardians.” Learn More.
DoE Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program
“The Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program takes top entrepreneurial scientists and engineers and embeds them within U.S. national laboratories to perform early-stage research and development (R&D) that may lead to the launch of energy or manufacturing businesses in the future. In addition to technological access and support, the program trains innovators to develop entrepreneurial acumen and skills, while introducing them to the ecosystem partners needed to facilitate commercial and investment opportunities.This dual focus on early-stage R&D and entrepreneurial development provides innovators with the platform they need to take their ideas from the lab and onto the commercialization pathway.” Learn More.
Department of Commerce Innovation and Entrepreneurship
“Established by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 and housed within the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) aims to empower communities so that entrepreneurs can launch companies, scale technologies and create the jobs of tomorrow. OIE manages several grant competitions that support high-growth entrepreneurship, create jobs, and drive economic growth. OIE collaborates across the federal innovation and entrepreneurship policy and program landscape and leads the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.” Learn More.
“NavalX serves the Navy and Marine Corps as an innovation and agility cell, supporting and connecting initiatives across the Department of Defense. We connect teams with tools, training, and resources—enabling people to think differently and deliver more effective solutions to the warfighter.” Learn More.
Again, these are just a few of the organizations with opportunities and resources available to the entrepreneurial community. Working with the Government can be intimidating because the policies and processes that need to be followed are not exactly intuitive. If you would like to learn more about how you can start collaborating and potentially receiving funds with the US Government, please visit the FORGE at https://forge.arizona.edu.