“We needed to figure out how to make these guys in their 40s and 50s, who are unquestioned in their field, get out and move as fast as kids in hoodies and flip-flops,” Blank explained. The solution, he thought, was to humiliate them. “They let you know you’re a complete novice at business,” said one early participant. “It’s very humbling.”
Arkilic explained the NSF’s commercialization problem and asked Blank if he’d help them solve it. Blank replied, “What the f— is the NSF?”
President Joe Biden signed the SBIR and STTR Extension Act of 2022, reauthorizing SBIR/STTR until September 30, 2025. Part 5: Tragedy Averted: The SBIR/STTR Extension Act of 2022 In this series, Jace Gatzemeyer discusses the history, legacy, goals, successes,...
Symantec founders and backers (left to right): John Doerr and Jim Lally, general partners, Kleiner, Perkins; Carl Carman, the Master’s Fund; Jim Peterson, vice president of finance; Gary Hendrix, vice president of technology; Vern Raburn, president; Rod Turner, vice...
Despite eight studies of SBIR/STTR by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with no adverse findings, several politicians participating in this 1991 hearing voiced concerns. To many of the more penetrating questions, representatives of the SBIR and STTR programs were left replying, “We didn’t calculate that,” “I don’t know if we have any information on that,” and “There is no way to measure that…”
“A wealth of scientific talent at American colleges and universities — talent responsible for the development of numerous innovative scientific breakthroughs each year — is going to waste as a result of bureaucratic red tape and illogical government regulation…. The problem, very simply, is the present policy followed by most government agencies or retaining patent rights to inventions.”
To address these problems, Tibbetts designed the NSF’s SBIR program as a funding source for small businesses with exceptional early-stage innovation ideas — “ideas that, however promising, are still too high-risk for private investors.”
By 1992, small businesses had begun to be recognized as powerful catalysts of technological innovation and economic growth, with small high-tech companies increasingly leading the way in emerging fields like software and biotechnology. Within this climate, SBIR was increasingly seen the government’s primary tool for supporting small business-fueled growth.