In 1996 the University of Wyoming (UW) Research Office launched the Wyoming SBIR Initiative to encourage participation of Wyoming individuals and small businesses in the SBIR and STTR programs. Initially funded by the National Science Foundation EPSCoR Program as a model for other rural states to emulate, the Initiative was immediately successful - Wyoming small businesses received more SBIR awards in 1996/1997 than in the previous thirteen years combined.
As a result of this outstanding performance, the 1998 Wyoming legislature authorized the Wyoming Business Council (WBC) to continue funding the program. At the same time, the WBC also sponsored the creation of the unique Wyoming Phase 0 Program providing up to 24 awards annually of $5,000 each to assist Wyoming small businesses in the preparation of competitive Phase I SBIR/STTR proposals.
The WSSI is a program of statewide outreach through conferences, workshops and one-on-one mentoring in cooperation with personnel from the Wyoming Business Council (WBC), Manufacturing-Works (a manufacturing extension partnership), the Wyoming Small Business Development Centers (WSBDC), the UW Research Products Center (UWRPC), the Wyoming Technology Business Center, the UW Research Office, and UW faculty and staff.
For information on how to participate in the Wyoming Phase 0 and the SBIR/STTR programs, go to Getting Started.