The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs provide competitive awards-based resources to enable small businesses to develop new technologies and facilitate the commercialization of innovation. $2.5 billion of funding is made each year by SBIR/STTR Federal Agencies including the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, NASA, the National Science Foundation, USDA, and others.
MTI has aided many Maine businesses with their applications for SBIR/STTR grants. Introspective Systems is a recent Success Story.
Grants Received: Department of Energy SBIR Phase I and II awards
Introspective Systems, founded in 2014, has received a total of 3 SBIR awards from the Department of Energy, including a second Phase I award earlier this year. With a total of 8 employees, the company is addressing the problem of ‘prosumer’ integration into the national grid by seamlessly fusing a scalable fractal graph energy distribution framework with a modern approach to cryptocurrency ledgers that will reduce the cost of tracking transactions with a transactive energy system.
“Don’t apply to every SBIR that you could possibly do. Focus on ones that legitimately extend your technology and move you toward your company’s end goal.”
-Kay Aikin, CEO, Introspective Systems
To complete their application, Introspective made extensive use of MTI’s SBIR/STTR Technical Assistance Program (TAP) and Phase 0 grant program. They also used the Accelerator Grant program allowing them to extend their commercialization efforts, which put them in a position to take full advantage of the opportunities the SBIR grant opened up. That first SBIR gave them the financial stability to pivot to the platform technology they needed and refocus on their system architecture strengths.
Kay Aikin, Introspective’s CEO, recommends that anyone considering applying for SBIR/STTR funds give careful consideration to how the funds can help them move toward their company’s end goal, and not just apply to every possible SBIR. Chasing dollars is less likely to create lasting value and commercialization opportunities.