The  Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)  programs are federal programs that provide non-dilutive seed funding to startup companies for early-stage product development. Both programs have three phases, with funding available to startups in Phases I and II.

Each year, eleven Federal agencies, including NSF, NASA, and DoD, allocate 3% of their budget, through SBIR/STTR, to fund research activities that address a specific need of each agency. The SBIR/STTR programs are highly competitive and the application and proposal writing process can be daunting. Hiring a SBIR/STTR consultant can help you both navigate the proposal process and help you write and apply to the right agency.

The SBIR/STTR Assistance Program is NYSTAR funded and helps eligible companies, based in New York State, hire a qualified SBIR/STTR consultant to help them develop a proposal. This program is administered by Cornell University’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement. The SBIR/STTR Assistance Program provides matching funding (usually 1:1), up to a preset limit, so awarded companies can hire a qualified SBIR/STTR consultant.

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Company Spotlights

Through the SBIR/STTR Assistance Program, eligible companies are provided with funding to hire a consultant to aid them in navigating the SBIR/STTR application process.


Inso Biosciences

Inso Biosciences is developing a microfludic platform that improves and automates DNA sample preparation for long-read DNA sample preparation for long-read DNA sequencing.

In January 2020, Inso Biosciences received a $225,000 SBIR Phase I award from the National Science Foundation to demonstrate the feasibility of a fundamentally different approach to multi-mic single cell processing. The broader impact of the project is to commercialize an automatable microfluidic technology capable of disrupting the existing sample preparation market. Since then, Inso Biosciences received a $250,000 SBIR Phase I award from the National Institute of Health in June 2021 to develop better sample preparation solutions for pathogen detection and sequencing to monitor diseases such as tuberculosis; and raised $2.275 million in pre-seed financing in March 2022.

Hairdays - Style, Track, and Explore


HairDays is innovating the hair care industry through AI, machine learning, and data science-backed technology.

In March 2022, HairDays received a $256,000 SBIR Phase 1 award from the National Science Foundation. HairDays is developing an AI-powered intelligence platform that empowers individuals to take their hair health into their own hands by offering users access to data-driven and personalized insights. Hair health plays an important factor in mental and physical health; however, an absence of transparent data has disproportionately disadvantaged access to quality products and care information, particularly among minority communities, leading to the use of products and hairstyles that adversely impact hair and scalp health.



EzraBio is creating innovative RNA sequencing technology, allowing for efficient and cost-effective library construction.

EzraBio, an alumni company of the SBIR/STTR Assistance Program, won a $256,000 SBIR Phase I award in April 2022 to refine its RNA sequencing technology. The biotech startup’s product allows for efficient and cost-effective library construction, an essential step in RNA sequencing. Compared to EzraBio’s solution, existing library construction methods are time-consuming and inefficient. The startup’s advancement helps scientists and healthcare professionals identify novel cancer-specific antigens, and it advances cancer immunotherapy, resulting in improved treatment and prevention.

“The SBIR/STTR Assistance Program played an important role in the success of our application,” said founder Xin (Erica) Shu. “It allowed us to partner with InteliSpark LLC, a hands-on business development consulting firm specializing in securing non-dilutive SBIR & STTR funding for startups. After months of consultation, writing and revising, we were finally awarded the SBIR Phase I grant from NSF. This would not be possible without InteliSpark LLC and the SBIR/STTR Assistance Program.”