Small Business for Innovation Research (SBIR) Funding

Small Business for Innovation Research (SBIR) Funding

Federal agencies set aside a portion of their extramural research & development budget to be awarded as grants to small businesses. Thanks to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, innovators and entrepreneurs have opportunities to apply and receive anywhere from $150,000 to $1 million in capital to determine a technology’s feasibility and to develop a prototype. As long as they meet the terms of the funding, award recipients do not have to repay the government and they retain full ownership of their company. Qualified small businesses and entrepreneurs affiliated with IUIN incubators can receive free support, guidance, and training to help them search for federal agency solicitations and to prepare and submit proposals.

The IUIN provides SBIR assistance through free workshops and free one-on-one counseling to assist with SBIR funding applications.
  • Workshops are offered at or near IUIN locations. Check our events calendar or join our email list to stay informed about dates and details of workshop and training events.
  • Counseling, to assist with SBIR funding applications, is awarded to companies through a competitive application process. Applicants must be associated with a university and be referred by an incubator in the Illinois University Incubator Network or an institution of higher education in the following Illinois counties: Coles, Cook, DeKalb, Jackson, Kankakee, Macon, Peoria, Winnebago.

SBIR Consultants

Roland GartonRoland Garton is President & Lead Consultant for Garton Consulting Services, Inc and He has over three decades of experience with grant development, government contracting, program and project management, training and documentation, and program administration.

Garton has written or advised on scores of SBIR proposals worth several million dollars to 9 of the 11 federal SBIR-granting agencies. He has also managed several projects resulting from successful SBIR proposals. In addition, he has set up bookkeeping and timekeeping systems for many SBIR recipients, prepared invoices and Incurred Cost Proposals, and helped navigate multiple companies through federal audits, many of them conducted by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA).

Anna LisaAnna Lisa Somera is an experienced medical device consultant, venture capitalist, intellectual property analyst, technology transfer specialist, biomedical researcher, and entrepreneur specialized in early-stage, cutting edge technology businesses. She has been part of the entrepreneurial community in Illinois for 14 years and has helped drive the formation and raised angel and venture funding for several start-up companies while also serving as top management for many of the ventures.

Somera’s advising adds up to over thirty million dollars in grants to date, mostly for Illinois companies. Her multi-disciplinary academic preparation in business, public health, and cell biology, along with her strong ties to the University of Illinois, has aided in her success in the entrepreneurial community. Additionally, Somera serves as an SBIR/STTR grant consultant at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Argonne National Laboratory.
  • The online application is also used by the EnterpriseWorks Incubator at the University of Illinois and will state SBIR Technical Assistance Program.
  • For the question regarding affiliation with the University of Illinois, simply indicate the type of affiliation you have with your referring university or institution of higher education.
QUESTIONS: Contact Cheri Soliday at or 217-244-6097.

The IUIN SBIR Counseling Program is led by EnterpriseWorks at the University of Illinois Research Park. Funding support for these services is provided by grants from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

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