Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Funding

Small Business 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.

  • Counseling, to assist with SBIR funding applications, is awarded through a competitive application process. Eligibility is open to innovation, technology, or research & development projects based in Illinois. Out-of-state requests are not eligible. View list of consultants.
  • 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. Below are select videos from webinars and workshops (listed in order of most recent event):


  • Eligibility is open to innovation, technology, or research & development projects based in Illinois. Out-of-state requests are not eligible.
  • Requests for free one-on-one counseling must be submitted via the above application link. Please do not contact the consultants directly for free SBIR assistance.
  • After we review your application, we will communicate directly with you about the status of your request and/or connect you with one of our SBIR consultants.
  • Submission of an application does not guarantee services.

QUESTIONS: Contact Cheri Soliday at or 217-244-6097.

SBIR/STTR Technical Assistance programs are 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 and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

SBIR Consultants

**Coming Soon!** More SBIR/STTR Consultants. Thanks to additional funding provided by the SBA Federal and State Technology Partnership Program (FAST), we are contracting with more SBIR/STTR consultants. Bios and info coming soon!

Roland Garton

Roland 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 and advised on scores of SBIR proposals worth several million dollars to 9 of the 11 federal SBIR-granting agencies. He is an SBIR workshop leader and national I-Corps participant, and has 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 has helped navigate multiple companies through federal audits, many of them conducted by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA).


Anna Lisa

Anna 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 15 years and has helped drive the formation and raised angel and venture funding for several start-up companies spun out of universities 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.

More programs offering free assistance for entrepreneurs: