WASHINGTON, March 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today that it will launch a 20-state road tour led by the SBA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs with participation from 11 other federal agencies. This will be the second year of the SBA-led Innovation Road Tour.
"Last year's SBA Road Tour was a huge success and made it possible for us to engage thousands of small innovative firms across the nation," said John Williams, SBA Director of Innovation and Technology. "American innovation is not restricted by geographic or cultural boundaries, and we are committed to supporting America's entrepreneurs wherever they are. This tour reflects our commitment to ensuring that these innovators are aware of these resources that can help them turn a big idea into another great American success story."
This year's SBIR Road Tour, "Seeding America's Future Innovations," is a national outreach effort targeting advanced technology communities, including women-owned and minority-owned small businesses in states that have underutilized funding opportunities through these programs. Annually, the SBIR and STTR programs, sometimes called America's largest seed fund, provides $2.5 billion in early stage funding to small businesses in the STEM fields.
The first tour stop will take place on April 4-6, 2016, when the SBA and 11 fellow agencies participate in the 2016 Gulf Coast Regional SBIR-STTR conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The tour continues the week of April 18th with stops in Little Rock, Arkansas, Nashville, Tennessee, Atlanta, Georgia and Greenville, South Carolina.
The next stops on the tour will take place during the week of June 27th with visits to Laramie, Wyoming, Omaha, Nebraska, Wichita, Kansas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
There will be additional tours to the Northeast and West coasts, the Midwest, Alaska and Puerto Rico at a later date.
Each SBIR Road Tour stop will be hosted by a local organization committed to supporting technology-based entrepreneurship, and will provide attendees with a face-to-face opportunity to talk directly to federal agency program managers and decision makers from many agencies including the: National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Health and Human Services' National Institute of Health.
The highly competitive SBIR/STTR programs together account for more than 150,000 awards totaling approximately $40 billion. These awards have helped U.S. innovators advance new technologies and help make the U.S. more globally competitive. The SBIR/STTR programs have provided seed funding to companies including Qualcomm, iRobot, Symantec and Genzyme.
Small technology firms, innovators, scientists or researchers seeking more information on the SBIR Road Tour, including a schedule of states for the road tour and participating agencies, visit: www.sbirroadtour.com.
For more information about SBIR/STTR programs, please visit www.sbir.gov.