Small Business Booster Rocket from DOE offers small business assistance

December 29, 2014 |

Small business owners either imagine or have actually experienced rushing headlong for an open door marked “federal funds” only to have it slammed in their face for one reason or another. This is especially true of certain kinds of small businesses, and that landscape is about to change. The current round of DOE funding opportunities (DE-FOA-0001227) has created a special assistance program free of charge.

You do have to qualify for this program. The “Phase 0” program provides preparation and training for submitting an SBIR or STTR “Phase 1” application (successfully), but this program casts a wide net. Phase 0 is designed to assist, Women- or minority-owned small businesses, located anywhere in the US and its territories that work with advanced technologies, or any small, advanced technology firms in the following states: AK, DC, GA, HI, IA, ID, IN, KS, LA, ME, MN, MS, MT ,NC, ND, NE, NY, OK, PA, PR, RI, SC, SD, WA, WI (states that have usually be significantly under-represented in applications for these programs), and that have NOT received a DOE SBIR/STTR award within the past three years or received similar assistance from DOE in the last 2 years. (according to the website of Dawnbreaker, the consulting company that operates the program, and specializes in SBIR, STTR, and ATP program assistance). Combined with the liberal cutoff of a “small” business being less than 500 employees, you would almost have to be a white male-owned multinational conglomerate business in NY, CA, or Washington DC not to qualify like the rest of us.

A DOE FOA is not all about biobased products and technologies. Nuclear, high energy physics, solar CSP and PV are just some of the topics also covered in their SBIR solicitations, but several opportunities are currently listed and one can expect many more in the future during which Dawnbreaker expects to expand from its current capacity to help 10 to 100 clients for DOE SBIR. Of course, Dawnbreaker casts a wide net too, covering defense, space, medicine and energy areas. Specific help for current DOE pre-Phase 1 applicants include: 1) Letter of Intent (LOI) review, 2) Phase I proposal preparation, review and submission assistance, 3) Communication and Market Research Assistance, 4) Small Business Development Training and Mentoring, 5) Technology advice and consultation, 6) Intellectual property consultation, 7) Indirect rates and financials. LOI deadline is Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. Phase 0 LOI assistance is through to Dec. 15, 2014 submission deadline, many of the others are available from Dec. 15 to Jan. 28, 2015.

If you are facing that big double-wide door to federal funding, and you qualify, Phase 0 may be able to help you find the key under the doormat so you will be greeted like family inside. Here is a good place to start.



About the author: Stafford “Doc” Williamson is President of DaoChi Energy and CTO of Source Integration, both companies focus on green energy and specialize in algae technologies. Doc has been a longtime supporter of alternative energy, including energy from waste streams, as well as supporter of the Biofuels Digest and ABLC conferences.

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