Innovative Grants for Small Businesses

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Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, but they often face funding challenges. Say’s Dr. Brian Blick, if you’re a small business owner looking for grant funding opportunities, then keep reading! We’ll explain some of the best options out there for small businesses looking to innovate and grow.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grants

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a competitive grant program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal research and development (R&D). The SBIR program is managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), an agency within the Department of Commerce, and offers awards for projects with high technological risk that also have the potential for commercialization.

The SBIR Program supports two phases: Phase I — Contract based funding up to $150K for feasibility studies; Phase II – Contract based funding up to $500K for proof-of-concept development work

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grants

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grants are federal grants that support the commercialization of research by small businesses. They allow small companies to partner with universities, nonprofit research institutions and federal laboratories to develop new products and services. STTR grants provide support for both the development of intellectual property and its commercialization through licensing agreements or other arrangements with private sector companies.

Commercialization Assistance for Research Universities (CARU) Grants

The Commercialization Assistance for Research Universities (CARU) grants are specifically for universities. They provide funding to help researchers commercialize their innovations and bring them to market.

CARU grants come in two flavors:

  • Pilot projects are short term and small, with a maximum of $300,000. These can be used to test out an idea before launching into full-scale commercialization.
  • Full projects have a total budget of up to $1 million over three years or more, depending on how much funding you receive from other sources during that time period

International Trade Administration (ITA) Office of Trade and International Programs (OTIP) Rapid Response Program (RRP) grants

The International Trade Administration (ITA) is a government agency that provides assistance to small businesses in developing, marketing and exporting their products. The Office of Trade and International Programs (OTIP) has two grant programs available to small businesses: the Trade Promotion Program (TPP) and Rapid Response Program (RRP). TPP grants are for companies looking to export their products overseas for the first time or expand into new markets; RRP grants are for companies that need funding immediately but don’t qualify for other OTIP programs like TPP or Commercialization Assistance Loans (CAL).[1]

There are many great grants out there that can help small businesses innovate

There are many great grants out there that can help small businesses innovate. However, some grants are better than others and some are more competitive than others. If you’re looking for a grant that will give your business the funding it needs to grow, here are some tips on how to find one:

  • Research available grants and their requirements by talking with friends in similar industries or researching online databases such as Proximity Grants (
  • Apply for as many grants as possible so that even if one doesn’t work out, another might be just around the corner!


We hope that this article has given you some insight into the many different types of grants that are out there, as well as how they can be used by small businesses. We know that it can be difficult to find the right one for your business and we want to help make this process easier by providing information on what each grant offers along with tips for applying for them. If there are any questions about which grant would work best for your company or how to apply please don’t hesitate in contacting us today!

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