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Funding business research: specialized grants can provide $$ for your high-tech firm.

Starting a technology-oriented company can be a costly undertaking, especially when research and development costs are involved. Fortunately, there are technical assistance grants and development contracts available from numerous sources in state and local government. Taking advantage of them can enable a start-up to research the feasibility of a business idea, develop a product to the beta testing (programming) beta testing - Testing a pre-release (potentially unreliable) version of a piece of software by making it available to selected users. This term derives from early 1960s terminology for product cycle checkpoints, first used at IBM but later standard throughout the  stage, and in virtually all cases, keep the intellectual property rights to its technology.

However, finding available funds that match your needs involves patience and ingenuity. The Internet is a good place to start your search, says Bonnie Baughman, director of center administration for the University Park, Pennsylvania, Technology Center of the Ben Franklin Partnership (BFP BFP n. slang for bona fide purchaser, which means someone who purchased something (e.g. a bond, a promissory note, or jewelry) with no reason to be suspicious that it was stolen, belonged to someone else, or was subject to another party's claim. ).

Baughman says most states fund programs similar to the BFP, which provides various technical assistance grants for feasibility studies and research and product development in Pennsylvania. Through the BFP, seed grants of up to $25,000 are available for businesses with less than 250 employees. Matching challenge grants that can reach $100,000 and other funding are also available.

Another way to find funds, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 Marie Thompson, president of T/J Technologies Inc. in Ann Arbor, Michigan

“Ann Arbor” redirects here. For other uses, see Ann Arbor (disambiguation).
Ann Arbor is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County.
, is by networking within professional organizations. Her advanced materials Advanced Materials is a leading peer-reviewed materials science journal published every two weeks. Advanced Materials includes Communications, Reviews, and Feature Articles from the cutting edge of materials science, including topics in chemistry, physics,  development company learned about the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR SBIR Small Business Innovation Research (program/grant)
SBIR Space Based Infra-Red
SBIR Speaker-Boundary Interference
SBIR Site Backsurface-referenced Ideal Plane/Range (silicon wafers) 
) program through contacts in the scientific community and a local business development organization. By using the SBIR program, which is coordinated by the SBA SBA
Small Business Administration

Noun 1. SBA - an independent agency of the United States government that protects the interests of small businesses and ensures that they receive a fair share of government
, 10 federal government agencies award contracts and grants to small businesses with ideas that meet the agencies' specific research and development needs. Phase I contracts are awarded for up to $100,000 for feasibility studies and Phase II contracts of up to $750,000 are awarded for research and development. During Phase III Noun 1. phase III - a large clinical trial of a treatment or drug that in phase I and phase II has been shown to be efficacious with tolerable side effects; after successful conclusion of these clinical trials it will receive formal approval from the FDA , the agencies assist in moving an innovation from the laboratory to the marketplace (no SBIR funding is expended in this phase).

T/J Technologies started about five years ago with a $50,000 Army SBIR contract to conduct a feasibility study "A Feasibility Study" is an episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 13 April, 1964, during the first season. It was remade in 1997 as part of the revived The Outer Limits series with a minor title change.  relating to structural materials. Today, the company has revenues of just under $1 million.

Having a realistic business plan for commercializing the technology you wish to develop is key to securing funding, says Thompson. Virtually all government-funded technical assistance programs state economic development as their ultimate goal and commercializing technology usually figures highly on the selection criteria.

Keep in mind that some programs have payback requirements for companies that successfully commercialize their efforts.

To find out more about the SBIR program, call 202-205-6450 or visit their Web site at For more information on the BFP, call 814-8G3-4558 or visit their Web site at (do not use "www" when typing this address).
COPYRIGHT 1997 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Capital Ideas
Author:Huggins, Sheryl E.
Publication:Black Enterprise
Date:Jul 1, 1997
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