Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Training





We hear that teachers are heading back to the classroom and see lots of back to school sales, so guess it is time to remind you of some important schoolin’—namely honing your SBIR/STTR skills so you can improve your chances of getting a piece of this $3.6 billion pie awarded to small and start-up businesses each year. If you have innovative (i.e., unproven,  technically risky) ideas for new products and services for consumers, industry, or the Federal agencies, then consider applying NOW for a Phase I SBIR/STTR award. We’ll help, by offering the following SBIR/STTR training events in the next few months.

But you know the drill—before getting into our training schedule, we always want to remind you of the Phase I solicitations that are open now or will be in the not-so-distant future:

Agency Date Open Proposals Due URL

DHHS-NIH,CDC,FDA Grants* Now Sep 5

Dept of Energy* Aug 12 Oct 15

DHHS-NIH, CDC Contracts Now Oct 23

Dept of Agriculture Now Oct 23

Dept. of Defense-19.3, 19.C* Aug 23 Oct 23

National Science Foundation* Now Anytime**

               * Dates for both SBIR and STTR programs

             ** NSF is piloting  a rolling submission process


Now, let's talk about those upcoming training events: 


1. Phase I Proposal Preparation & Cost Proposal Workshops, El Paso, TX, August 14-15, 2019. This is a powerful pair of workshops for newcomers to SBIR/STTR, and those who want to improve their proposal prep skills. Day 1 starts with a comprehensive overview of SBIR/STTR, followed by a simple but effective 4 step process for developing a competitive Phase I proposal being submitted to any SBIR/STTR agency. Day 2, which is abbreviated to just the morning, introduces participants to the all-important SBIR/STTR cost proposal, and the bewildering world of Federal government accounting. Attend Day 1 to write a strong proposal, attend Day 2 to avoid losing money when you win! Go to to register. BTW, the SBIR/STTR agencies will stop in El Paso on August 13th as part of their road tour. If you want to take in their briefings, the same URL will connect you to more info on this event.


2. DOD SBIR/STTR Webinar, August 28, 2019. This event is scheduled to coincide with DOD’s FY19.3/19.C BAA/solicitations release the preceding week. We will provide the latest information about DOD’s evolving SBIR/STTR programs, including USAF’s open topics and DARPA’s out-of-cycle special solicitations. For more information or to register, go to:


3. SBIR/STTR Commercialization Workshop, San Juan, PR, September 11, 2019. We will honor all those heroes who died in NYC, the Pentagon, and Shanksville by holding this important workshop on September 11th. We will be addressing a critical but often underestimated aspect of the SBIR/STTR programs, namely taking the results of the Phase I and II R&D and translating it into commercial products and services. No, we can’t teach you everything you need to know about commercialization in one day, but we’re betting you’ll know a lot more after this workshop than what you do going in. And help support the economy of our neighbors in Puerto Rico by staying a few extra days and enjoying the island charm and beauty! For more information or to register, contact


4. Phase I & II Proposal Preparation Workshop, Missoula, MT, September 25, 2019. The morning of this workshop will cover the basics of preparing a Phase I SBIR/STTR proposal. In the afternoon, we will turn our attention to the Phase II proposal. Materials will be appropriate for newcomers to SBIR/STTR, as well as more seasoned competitors (especially those with Phase I awards who now need to consider how to prepare their Phase II proposals). The afternoon will include some discussion about the new Direct to Phase II (DTP2) programs at DOD and NIH.  Although the National Institutes of Health will be emphasized during this workshop, the materials will be relevant to all agencies participating in SBIR and STTR. For more information or to register, contact


5. Phase I & II Proposal Preparation Workshop, Bozeman, MT, September 26, 2019. Basically the same workshop as the Missoula one, but the Dept of Defense SBIR/STTR programs will be emphasized. Once again, the materials will be relevant to all agencies participating in SBIR and STTR. For more information or to register, contact


6. National SBIR Conference & Abbreviated Phase I Proposal Preparation Workshop, Washington DC area, October 8-10, 2019.  The fall national conference is being held back in DC this year. The conference kicks off with our abbreviated Phase I workshop on the morning of the 8th.  We’ll cover the basics, then go through a recommended process for developing a Phase I proposal. Subsequent sessions on the 8th will cover the SBIR/STTR cost proposal and accounting, and Phase II proposal prep. The conference then provides excellent opportunities to meet 1-on-1 with reps of all the SBIR/STTR agencies, and to get briefed on all the interesting changes that are occurring right now to SBIR/STTR.  Check out the conference website at to register as well as see the agenda for the conference.

7. Phase I proposal prep, Commercialization, Phase II proposal prep & SBIR/STTR Cost Proposal prep workshops, Orlando, FL, Oct 14-15, 2019. Can you say "intensive training opportunity?" We're doing four abbreviated versions of our most popular SBIR/STTR workshops to give you as much information as can be packed into 2 days. We start with Phase I proposal prep workshop on the morning of the 14th, which will cover the basics of SBIR/STTR and a recommended 7 step process for developing a competitive Phase I proposal to any of the participating agencies for either SBIR or STTR funding. On the afternoon of the 14th, we will talk about your technology commercialization
activities that should begin BEFORE you decide to submit your Phase I proposal, and continue through completion of the Phase II project. On the morning of the 1th, we will cover a four-step process for developing a competitive Phase II proposal, emphasizing the messages that must be conveyed in the abstract, Phase I summary, and Phase II work plan. Finally, on the afternoon of the 15th, all attendees that are not yet brain dead will have a chance to learn how to prepare an accurate and defensible cost proposal for a Phase I or II project, with a focus on how to estimate the
company's indirect (aka G&A, overhead, F&A) rate. For more information or to register, contact

Commercialization of SBIR/STTR technologies Although most SBIR/STTR agencies don't expect an in-depth commercialization plan until the Phase II proposal, many are now expecting evidence of some intelligent thought about market and commercial potential in the Phase I proposal. It also makes sense for applicants to have some understanding of commercial potential before deciding to even write a Phase I proposal on a particular topic or project.
This abbreviated commercialization workshop will cover the basics of commercialization as it applies to SBIR/STTR before, during, and after Phase I and II.

Phase II proposal Preparation Phase II is the important middle step between the initial Phase I feasibility study and the ultimate goal of Phase III commercialization. Averaging 7 times as much money as a typical Phase I, the Phase II requires a much stronger proposal. Further competition is usually stronger for Phase II funding, as only Phase I recipients can apply. This workshop covers a four-step process for developing that proposal, with tasks that should begin during the Phase I project. It also will discuss the Direct to Phase II program, and its pros and cons.

Cost proposal preparation
About 80% of SBIR/STTR applicants think they do a pretty good job on the cost proposal. About 80% of them are wrong. Errors in the cost proposal can lead to losses of thousands of dollars on a Phase I, and tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars on a Phase II. This workshop covers the important concepts like direct vs indirect costs, unallowable costs, and why you should always ask for profit/fee (and how to justify it), and shows
attendees how to estimate their own indirect (aka F&A, overhead, G&A) rate and apply it to an SBIR/STTR cost proposal.


8. Phase I Proposal Preparation Workshops, Topeka & Wichita, KS, November 5-6, 2019.    This is our most popular workshop. It begins with the basics of SBIR/STTR, including important recent changes in both programs. We then focus on a comprehensive and  effective process for developing a competitive Phase I proposal for submission to any agency. It’s offered in Topeka on the 5th and Wichita on the 6th, so pick the date/location that is most convenient for you! For more information or to register for the Topeka event, contact, and for the Wichita event, contact        .



Phase I & Cost Proposal Workshops, Laramie, WY, Fall 2019


6. National SBIR Conference & Abbreviated Phase I Proposal Preparation Workshop, Washington DC area, June 29-July 1, 2020


Remember that if you attend one of our full day workshops, you are eligible for a free critique of your SBIR or STTR proposal. The idea is to give you the training you need to be able to write a very good draft, and then provide the feedback to allow you to refine the draft into an even more competitive proposal. We've reviewed hundreds of SBIR/STTR proposals, and have always found some things that could be improved upon to increase the proposer's chances of success.

Check out our website at, where we list our training events and have copies of our SBIR/STTR proposal preparation tips that we’ve been publishing monthly since “the turn of the century” (i.e., 1999).

ATTENTION POTENTIAL WORKSHOP SPONSORS:  We continually receive requests for SBIR/STTR workshops from prospective attendees.  SBIR/STTR continue to be very competitive programs, so your clients need help getting an advantage over other small firms—that’s where our training and free proposal reviews come into play. If you would like to sponsor a workshop, please let us know.



 Business Incubator Training


THE INBIA ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Dallas, Texas,  April 22-25, 2018

We’ve been invited to present at 27 of the last 28 annual INBIA/NBIA conferences, so chances are we’ll be doing a session in the Big D. Stay tuned for updates as sessions are finalized. Go to for more information or to register for the conference.


INBIA WEBINAR SERIES, Spring-Summer 2016

GCGI was pleased to be a presenter in this series on various incubator topics. We spoke on the topic “Content and Cost of a Feasibility Study.” Go to to listen to a recording of that session.



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