AP NEWS

Small Business Innovation Research Tour Coming to New York for First Time

June 6, 2018

ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) National SBIR Road Tour is coming to New York for the first time, giving small businesses the coveted opportunity to learn firsthand about America’s largest seed fund. The tour stop will be hosted by NextCorps in Rochester on Monday, June 18. At the event, entrepreneurs can meet one-on-one with federal and national agencies, and learn how to apply for funding that is available through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

The Federal Government awards more than $2.5 billion annually to small businesses through these programs, without taking equity. Funding covers many high-impact research and technology areas, including unmanned systems, advanced materials, health, cyber security, defense, and more.

“We are dedicated to supporting America’s entrepreneurs wherever they are. American innovation is not restricted by geographic or cultural boundaries,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said. “This tour reflects our commitment to ensuring that these innovators are aware of the resources that can help them turn a big idea into another great American innovation story.”

The SBIR Road Tour plays an important role in increasing engagement with entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country and in building a greater network to support the creation of small businesses that focus on high-impact research. It also advances several goals of the SBIR/STTR programs, including helping to increase participation by women, individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged, and small business owners who reside in underrepresented states.

LighTopTech and Optimax are just two examples of companies in New York that have taken advantage of SBIR grants. LighTopTech—a woman-owned startup in the NextCorps Luminate accelerator—received over $925,000 from the National Science Foundation and has also received a new award from the National Institutes of Health to help fund the development of its prototype technology. The dimensional imaging platform, called Explorer4D, allows medical professionals to look below the surface of skin and examine the cellular structures without having to make an incision. This could eliminate the need for biopsies to detect cancer.

Optimax—a member of New York State Manufacturing Extension Partnership—has received over 30 SBIR and STTR awards over the past decade from NASA and the Department of Defense to further advancements in precision optics. The company currently employs more than 200 people and manufactures a number of products for several markets, including aerospace, defense, medical and consumer electronics. Its lenses have even been in NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover and the New Horizons spacecraft.

The Rochester, NY tour stop will be hosted by NextCorps, a catalyst for entrepreneurship and innovation-based economic development in Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York. Program managers from more than 11 Federal agencies will be on hand to conduct meetings, participate in targeted panels, and share insights into how their agencies make funding decisions. NextCorps is also providing learning sessions to help entrepreneurs find additional resources for building successful businesses, from legal and accounting support to banking and potential investors.

The SBIR/STTR programs execute over 4,000 new awards per year. These awards have helped U.S. innovators advance new technologies and have contributed to the creation of thousands of jobs.

Small technology firms, innovators, scientists or researchers can register for the Rochester day-long event at http://bit.ly/SBIRRoadTourROC.

For more information on the SBIR Road Tour, including a schedule of stops and participating agencies, visit: www.sbirroadtour.com. For more information about SBIR/STTR programs, go to www.sbir.gov.

About NextCorpsNextCorps provides a suite of services, including technology commercialization for very early stage opportunities, business incubation for high-growth potential startups, and growth services for existing manufacturing companies seeking to improve their top- and bottom-line performance. For more information, visit www.nextcorps.org

Media Contact:Shannon Wojcik585-831-6267shannon@rkgcomms.com

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