Maryland SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) Conference
At this inaugural event, Montgomery county brought all 5 of the largest SBIR funding agencies together for the first time to present information about their programs and answer questions from the small business community. The event started with an energetic presentation by US Senator Ben Cardin. He is a passionate advocate for the small business owners in Maryland and he emphasized the importance of support the group and advocating for them in the US Senate.
John Davis from SBIR Resource Center gave a detailed presentation about how small businesses can successfully win SBIR grants. He stressed the importance of proving that you are building core competencies that are useful to building your business for the long-term. He pointed out that and SBIR grant can be quick money (4-6 months) with relatively little paperwork and confidentiality for 4 years. But winning a grant isn’t easy, you need to prepare well and also understand the agency that you are applying to (their size, budget, and culture all impact the way they award the SBIR grants).
The remainder of the day included presentations by agency SBIR leads as well as Maryland and Montgomery County small business funding and assistance organizations.