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UGA to host virtual Innovation Research Week

Puliyur MohanKumar’s startup company, SG Endocrine Research LLC, was just awarded more than $266,000 through a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute of Aging. The College of Veterinary Medicine professor founded the company based on his research that uses nanoparticle imaging technology to combat Alzheimer’s disease. (Photo taken by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA before March 2020)

America’s Seed Fund focuses on next-generation research, development

UGA entrepreneurs working on advanced technologies soon will have an opportunity to connect directly with the country’s largest source of early-stage funding.

The University of Georgia’s Innovation Gateway is hosting the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Regional Small Business Innovation Research Week—virtually—beginning Sept. 14.  It will provide a rare opportunity for innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs, technology companies and small businesses in the Southeast to connect directly with managers of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

Also known as America’s Seed Fund, the SBIR/STTR programs provide more than $3.7 billion in funding annually to small businesses focused on next-generation research and development.

Last year, UGA startup companies received more than $7.3 million in SBIR/STTR funding.

SBIR Virtual Weeks play an important role building greater networks to support the creation of small businesses across the country. The focus is on high-impact research and drawing attention to underserved regions, rural innovative communities, and underrepresented minority researchers and innovators who experience greater barriers to funding access.

““These virtual activities coordinated by SBA can be leveraged by technology-based entrepreneurs and businesses in Athens and across the region to access highly competitive R&D funding,” said Ian Biggs, director of startups in Innovation Gateway.

The two-day virtual event features programming designed to advance the commercialization of new technologies. On Sept. 14, SBIR/STTR program managers will take part in targeted panels, discuss technology areas and share firsthand insights into how federal agencies make funding decisions. On Sept. 17, the managers will conduct one-on-one virtual meetings with entrepreneurs and small businesses in Georgia wishing to move their technologies into the marketplace.

Innovation Gateway will host a pre-event virtual workshop on Sept. 11 to help attendees prepare for their meetings with program managers, who administer over 5,500 new SBIR/STTR awards annually. Registration for that workshop is now open.

“Every year, we meet entrepreneurs from around the country looking to turn their big idea into another great American innovation story. We are committed to supporting America’s small businesses owners, wherever they are,” said John Williams, director of innovation and technology for SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation. “This virtual tour reflects our continued commitment to ensuring that these innovators are aware of SBA’s resources to help them reach that goal.”

A $20 deposit for registration is required and will be refunded after the event. To register, please visit: