FAST (Federal and State Technology) Partnership Center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Securing federal grant funding for your innovative idea or technology is a critical step toward commercial success. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, often referred to as “America’s Seed Fund,” are an excellent source of undiluted funding, but are highly competitive.
The FAST Center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is led by EnterpriseWorks and provides free resources, support, and expertise necessary to submit a highly competitive proposal to help startups and companies bridge the gap between research and commercialization. We have helped companies acquire millions of dollars in federal SBIR/STTR funding – at no cost whatsoever to them.
Why the Illinois FAST Center is at EnterpriseWorks
Up to 25% of all State of Illinois SBIR/STTR funding is awarded annually to the companies or graduates of EnterpriseWorks in Research Park.
These programs award $2 billion dollars annually to qualified small businesses across the nation for innovative projects that meet specific federal needs. Entrepreneurs receive anywhere from $150,000 to $1 million in capital. Awards are based on small business qualifications, degree of innovation, technical merit and future market potential.
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FAST Center at Illinois Resources
The FAST Center offers weekly office hours available by appointment to answer your questions about the SBIR and STTR programs.
One-on-One Technical Assistance
Entrepreneurs, researchers, and inventors throughout the State of Illinois are eligible for one-on-one technical assistance. This includes assistance with the application process, budgets, and other technical details.
Roland Garton is President and Lead Consultant of Garton Consulting Services, Inc. He has over four decades of experience with grant development, government contracting, program and project management, training and documentation, and program administration.
Roland has written or advised on scores of SBIR proposals worth several million dollars to 9 of the 11 federal SBIR-granting agencies. He has also managed several projects resulting from successful SBIR proposals. In addition, he has set up bookkeeping and timekeeping systems for many SBIR recipients, prepared invoices and Incurred Cost Proposals, and helped navigate multiple companies through federal audits, many of them conducted by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA).
Anna Lisa is an experienced medical device consultant, venture capitalist, intellectual property analyst, technology transfer specialist, biomedical researcher, and entrepreneur specializing in early-stage, cutting-edge technology businesses. She has been part of the entrepreneurial community in Illinois for 14 years and has helped drive the formation and raised angel and venture funding for several startup companies while also serving as top management for many of the ventures.
Somera’s advising adds up to over thirty million dollars in grants to date, mostly for Illinois companies. Her multi-disciplinary academic preparation in business, public health, and cell biology, along with her strong ties to the University of Illinois, has aided in her success in the entrepreneurial community. Additionally, Somera serves as an SBIR/STTR grant consultant at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Argonne National Laboratory.
Kristen (Kris) Parmelee is a proud graduate of Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA). She started her career at an Indianapolis-based nonprofit in program development and management. After gaining initial experience in fund raising, Kris launched her own venture in 2000 with a focus on private foundation and federal grants. In 2005, she expanded her experience to include SBIR/STTR and for the past five years, has focused almost exclusively on SBIR/STTR and project management services.
Heidi Platt is the Founder and President of Platinum Grants & Proposals. With a Chemical Engineering degree from Purdue University, she has gained more than 15 years of engineering and project leadership experience. Heidi has written and assisted with many winning government proposals and has had the responsibility of managing government contracts.
Before founding Platinum Grants & Proposals, Heidi was the Director of the Proposal Assistance Program at high tech engineering firm Techshot where she assisted businesses with the development of federal and state proposals by providing outlines, guidance, reviews, and technical analysis. One of her main roles was to teach clients the process of preparing and submitting an SBIR/STTR proposal. Heidi also served as Techshot’s project engineer. Through this role, she developed SBIR proposals and managed multiple research and development contracts with NASA.
Through the FAST Partnership Program, we offer a series of beginner workshops including an hour-long “introductory” SBIR 101 workshop each month. Advanced workshops are also offered for those interested in pursuing SBIR/STTR awards, as well as workshops designed to help applicants prepare a well-founded SBIR/STTR grant application.
Sept. 27, 2-3PM/CT: SBIR/STTR 101: Overview of the SBIR/STTR Program (Virtual)
Check out the FAST Center FAQ document for detailed information (last updated 4.26.21).
SBIR/STTR Technical Assistance
This program encourages entrepreneurs to apply for federal grants.