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Growing Solutions with Phospholutions

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Hunter Swisher founded Phospholutions in the spring of 2016 while still a student majoring in plant science at Penn State. In the fall of 2015 while taking a class, he learned about a soil additive that would help plants soak up nutrients more efficiently. This technology, developed by his professor, was…

Evolve Build: Wharton SBDC Programs Help Serial Entrepreneur Redefine Renewable Energy

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Michael Sebright loves to start and build businesses, literally. Through his company Energy Reconsidered and his partnership with Evolve Build, he continues to find new ways to conserve and renew energy in Greater Philadelphia.     Ironically, one of Mr. Sebright’s strengths that contribute to his success is his tolerance…

The Secret Tradition Continues: Santinoceto's Market

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Santinoceto’s Italian Market celebrated its grand opening on March 4, 2016. However, the Santinoceto family name is far from new to the Clearfield area. Nick Santinoceto’s grandparents, Joseph and Mary, opened an Italian market in 1931. Joseph passed away in 1959, but his wife kept the market open until 1984. Nick…

Pennsylvania SBDC and Innovation Partnership to Assist Startup Tech Companies with SBIR/STTR Funding

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The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and Innovation Partnership (IPart) have received funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program to support programs for innovative, technology-driven small businesses.

“We’re excited about partnering with these organizations to help entrepreneurs around the country learn about and compete for SBIR/STTR awards,” said John Williams, SBA Director of Innovation. “The main goal of FAST is to provide more boots on the ground in local communities through our partner organizations to increase awareness about SBIR/STTR’s early stage funding and level the playing field for entrepreneurs, especially those in underrepresented communities.”

“We are pleased to be working closely with Innovation Partnership to offer the services and support that technology entrepreneurs need to bring their products to market,” said Nancy Crickman, Director of the Pennsylvania SBDC Environmental, Technology, and Energy Programs.

“From the origination of IPart in 2002 to today, the SBDCs have played an integral role in assisting tech-based entrepreneurs and SBIR/STTR clients with vital business and proposal preparation counseling to receive the benefits of the IPart programs,” said Kelly Wylam, Director of the Innovation Partnership. “We are excited to be working, even more closely with our SBDC tech consultants to broaden their experience and knowledge in specifically helping PA’s SBIR/STTR federal applicants,” she added.

FAST is designed to stimulate economic development with outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-driven small businesses, with a particular emphasis on socially and economically disadvantaged firms, helping them to compete in federally-funded research and development through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs.  

The Pennsylvania SBDC is a founding partner of IPart, a consortium of economic development and business assistance organizations located throughout Pennsylvania. IPart is a statewide collaborative between 12 economic development organizations and institutions of higher education and an initiative of the Pennsylvania’s Department of Community & Economic Development and Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

The SBDCs support the innovation economy of Pennsylvania by providing technology-based businesses and all entrepreneurs with individual consultation, comprehensive education, and research and information necessary to help their businesses start, grow, and prosper.

IPart offers assistance to technology-driven companies in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in preparing high quality SBIR/STTR grant proposals for submission to federal funding agencies.  Services to accepted participants include pre-proposal technical reviews by professional reviewers and micro grants and vouchers to help offset the cost of the preparation of the final proposal.

Since IPart’s origination, 168 SBDC clients have utilized its beneficial SBIR/STTR pre-proposal technical reviews, resulting in SBDC clients being awarded close to $7M in federal awards.

Businesses throughout the Commonwealth can access SBDC technology consulting services through all 18 centers in the Pennsylvania SBDC network. Services are delivered by a team of professional staff, who has access to market research tools and university assets such as laboratories, libraries and accelerator facilities. The SBDC Tech Team provides vital assistance to technology entrepreneurs at various stages of their commercialization process including:

  • Assessing market potential
  • Assisting with the development of a business and/or commercialization plan
  • Helping companies build their management and technical teams
  • Providing professional connections
  • Assisting with product development planning
  • Finding funding opportunities to further technical concepts
  • Accessing Innovation Partnership pre-proposal services
  • Understanding SBIR/STTR funding opportunities

Small business owners interested in receiving technology assistance can contact their local SBDC by visiting http://pasbdc.org/centers.