SBIR Week in the Rockies

About SBIR Week in the Rockies

The 2020 Regional SBIR Weeks are virtual, collaborative outreach efforts connecting entrepreneurs working on advanced technologies to the country’s largest source of early-stage funding – the SBIR/STTR programs. Also known as America’s Seed Fund, the SBIR/STTR programs provide over $3.7 billion in funding to small businesses each year in a wide variety of technology areas.

Why should you attend?

The Montana virtual event, hosted by the Montana Innovation Partnership, will provide attendees with an opportunity to hear directly from the participating federal agency program managers that administer over 5,500 new awards annually and to meet virtually one-on-one with program decision-makers.

Event information

Who: Open to small businesses, innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs, and technology companies.

When: Main event August 10, 2020, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm MDT.

You’ll be invited to sign up for one-on-one meetings with SBIR program managers, to be held on Thursday, August, 13.

Where: Online, you will receive login details prior to the event.

Register once to receive access to all sessions and an invitation to schedule one-on-one meetings


Day 1: Monday, August 10, 2020

Morning Sessions:  National Speakers

9:00 AM – Noon     Learn from federal experts about

Getting Started with SBIR/STTR – New to the world of SBIR/STTR? This panel will answer questions about how to get started, pre-requisites, required registrations, granting vs contracting agencies, and more. Panelists include:

Ben Schrag – Senior Program Director for SBIR/STTR, National Science Foundation (NSF)

Susan Celis – SBIR/STTR program Manager, Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) (Tentative)

April Richards – Program Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Inside the Head of an Evaluator – Common Mistakes to Avoid – Panel discussion with Agency Program Managers on the most common and avoidable mistakes made by applicants, as well as candid insights for preparing more competitive proposals. Panelists include:

Robert Smith – SBIR Director, U.S. Department of the Navy (DON)

Gynelle Steele – Deputy Program Executive for SBIR and STTR Programs, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Stephanie Fertig – HHS Small Business Program Lead, National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Success in Phase I – Moving to Phase II and Beyond – This panel will answer questions about agency nuances in moving from Phase I to Phase II and on to Phase III; what do companies that make successful transitions look like? What milestones do the agencies look for in each transition? How important are letters of support? What supplements are available? Do they make use of Technical and Business Assistance (TABA)?

Afternoon Sessions:

Track 1 Track 2
12:15 PM – 1:00 PM USPTO – Hear from David Le, Assistant Regional Director, Rocky Mountain U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, about resources available to SBIR applicants from USPTO 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM Partnering for Success – Panel moderated by Christie Bell to discuss strategies to build a strong team for your SBIR including technology transfer, partnerships, and collaborations
1:15 PM – 1:30 PM FLC – Hear from David Kistin, Program Leader for Small Business Vouchers Pilot at Sandia National Laboratories about working with federal labs and resources from the Federal Lab Consortium (FLC) 1:30 PM – 2:15 PM Pathway to Commercialization – Panel moderated by Ed Kase to learn more about success strategies to acquire early sales, scale your manufacturing, and explore equity investment options

Login details for the morning and afternoon sessions will be provided by the Small Business Administration SBIR Week in the Rockies team and by the Montana Innovation Partnership.

Day 2: Thursday, August 13, 2020

One-on-One meetings with national SBIR program managers

You will be provided with an opportunity to register for up to three (3) one-on-one meetings with SBIR program managers from the following SBIR agencies:

  • Defense Health Agency (DHA)
  • Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)
  • DoD – Air Force (USAF)
  • DoD – Army SBIR
  • DoD – Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
  • DoD – Department of the Navy
  • DoD – Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JSTO-CBD)
  • DoD – Missile Defense Agency (MDA)
  • DoD – Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD SBIR)
  • DoD – Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCOR)
  • Department of Education (DoED)
  • Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Department of Health and Human Services – National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

The cut-off date to schedule one-on-one meetings is August 4, 2020.

The Small Business Administration SBIR Week in the Rockies team will reach out to all registered companies to invite you to sign up for one-on-one meetings. Priority will be given to Montana companies for the August 13 date. Alternate days may be available after other states have filled their spots.

Please watch for an email from to schedule your meetings.

Registered SBIR Week in the Rockies Montana participants will also be invited to a pre-conference webinar on how to prepare for your one-on-one meetings including preparing a quad chart.

Download a quad chart template here:

For more information, please visit or contact Ann Peterson,

Not based in the Rockies? Check out the upcoming events scheduled for this year at
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