Office of Investment and Innovation


Mission statement

The U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Investment and Innovation (OII) leads programs that provide the high-growth small business community with access to two things: financial capital and R&D funds to develop commercially viable innovations. Our work is underpinned by public-private partnerships that help small businesses on their trajectory from idea to initial public offering (IPO).

About our office

The Office of Investment and Innovation (OII) supports high growth small businesses through the following four programs:

  • Small Business Investment Company (SBIC): Established in 1958, the mission of the SBIC program is to enhance small business access to capital by stimulating and supplementing “the flow of private equity capital and long-term loan funds which small-business concerns need for the sound financing of their business operations and for their growth, expansion, and modernization, and which are not available in adequate supply.” SBA carries out this mission by licensing and monitoring privately owned and managed investment funds that raise capital from private investors and issues SBA-guaranteed debentures to make private long-term equity and debt investments into qualifying small businesses.

  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR):  Established in 1982, the mission of the SBIR program is to stimulate technological innovation in the U.S. economy through the investment of federal research and development (R&D) funds into innovative high-tech US small businesses.  The SBIR statute requires federal agencies with extramural R&D budgets over $100 million to set aside a percentage of their annual extramural R&D budget for small businesses.

  • Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR):  Established ten years after the SBIR program, STTR is similar to SBIR, except that STTR awards are made to small businesses that pursue technological innovation through cooperative research and development with non-profit scientific and educational research institutions.  STTR requires federal agencies with extramural budgets exceeding $1 billion to set aside a percentage of their annual extramural R&D budget for SBCs that work in cooperation with universities, federally funded research and development centers, and other non-profit scientific and educational institutions.

  • Growth Accelerator Fund Competition: SBA created the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition in 2014 to draw attention and funding to parts of the country where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.  From an operational support and development perspective, SBA awards $50,000 cash prizes to accelerators to help support their organizations so that they can enlist the manpower and/or enable programmatic support in helping provide and locate access to capital, mentorship networks, and workspace support for high growth start-ups to scale up and grow sustainably.

    • The 2019 Competition focused on accelerators that work with high-tech entrepreneurs that are potential Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Tech Transfer (STTR) program applicants.

    • The 2020 award recipients focused at least 60% of their competition-related work to entrepreneurs who represented one of the following groups: women, socially and economically disadvantaged individuals or entrepreneurs living in or whose businesses are located and operate in states with a lower number of SBIR/STTR awards, or in an Opportunity Zone.  

    • The 2023 Competition will increase the pipeline and success of STEM/R&D-focused, prospective SBIR companies, innovators, and entrepreneurs via the facilitation of partnerships and relationships between ESO stakeholder groups.

The recipients, representing accelerators and incubators across 39 states and territories, focus on a broad set of industries and sectors, receiving a total of $3 million in awards to support startups and entrepreneurs researching and developing STEM-related innovations. 


Contact us

Office of Investment and Innovation
409 Third St. SW, Suite 6300
Washington, DC 20416

Phone: 202-205-6510

Last updated May 23, 2023