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In 2007, 20 small businesses in eight Wyoming communities received more than $2.7 million from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
"The federal SBIR program is a primary source of seed capital for Wyoming's technology-based start-up businesses and is a major component in the drive to diversify our economy," says Gene Watson, Wyoming SBIR/STTR Initiative (WSSI) program manager at the University of Wyoming.
The program is becoming increasingly competitive nationally, reinforcing the need for Wyoming to strengthen support for technology entrepreneurs, he adds.
The SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are grant-funding competitions specifically targeted to the nation's for-profit small business sector, Watson says.
The WSSI is funded by the Wyoming Business Council and administered by the UW vice president for research and economic development. The initiative helps qualified Wyoming small businesses and individuals to access federal funds that support the development of new, cutting-edge technologies. Eleven federal agencies support the SBIR program, providing U.S. small businesses with more than $2 billion annually.
The successful Wyoming businesses received awards ranging from $5,000 to $780,000 to support development of diverse products.
The SBIR grants are provided in two phases. Phase I, when the feasibility of the concept is determined, typically is funded by a grant of up to $100,000. The Phase II grant, used to develop a prototype, typically is funded by up to $750,000. Unique to Wyoming is the SBIR Phase 0 Program, sponsored by the WBC. The program provides $5,000 in funds to access resources needed to prepare competitive proposals for the Phase I and Phase II programs.
Two local companies received 2007 Phase II SBIR awards totaling $1.8 million. They are:
Jackson -- Alces Technology, $750,000.
Laramie -- Cha Corporation, $780,000.
Companies receiving 2007 SBIR Phase I awards totaling $780,000 and dollar amounts are:
Cheyenne -- Datacorp, $130,000.
Jackson -- Labrador Technology and Square One Systems, both $100,00; Ladd Energy, $150,000.
Laramie -- Firehole Technology and Z4 Energy, both $100,000.
Sheridan -- Wyoming Silicon, $100,000.
The successful companies, receiving 2007 WSSI Phase 0 awards totaling $125,000 are:
Buffalo -- Mountain Meadow Wool.
Casper -- Wickman Spacecraft.
Cheyenne -- Panamax35.
Chugwater -- Frontier Astronautics.
Jackson -- Alces Technology; Labrador Research; Square One Systems.
Laramie -- Advanced Biologicals; Elk Mountain Herbs; Firehole Technologies; SoftRay; Z4 Energy Systems.
Sheridan -- Genomic Branding; Kennon Products; Wyoming Silicon.
Wheatland -- Crile Carvey Consulting.
For more information, call Watson at (307) 742-7162 or e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Web site www.uwyo.edu/sbir.