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SBA Awards $125,000 Grant to the Center for Technology Commercialization in Wisconsin to Help Underserved Communities Succeed

Award will provide specialized training, mentoring and technical assistance for businesses
Release Date: 
Monday, August 16, 2021
Release Number: 
Shirah Apple,

WASHINGTON – On August 12, the U.S. Small Business Administration issued grant awards of up to $125,000 each to 33 organizations, including Wisconsin’s Center for Technology Commercialization for specialized training, mentoring and technical assistance for research and development-focused small businesses under the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program.  CTC has offices in Madison and Milwaukee.

CTC provides one-on-one assistance to early-stage emerging technology businesses throughout Wisconsin and has supported clients in obtaining over $195 million in funding. It is using this FAST grant on a unique military-civilian collaboration to promote aerospace innovation.

The Center for Technology Commercialization has helped so many Wisconsin businesses transform technology into viable and profitable enterprises,” says Eric Ness, district director for the SBA in Wisconsin. “These funds will boost the CTC’s reach and help more firms achieve their goals.”

“As President Biden often says, great ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. Supporting all our nation’s innovative startups and increasing equitable access to federal research funding is a priority for the SBA, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it will build a stronger future for all of us,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Guzman.

The FAST Program seeks to improve outcomes in the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs for underserved communities by increasing participation from women-owned, rural-based, and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses.

CTC, which has worked since 2005 to help clients secure SBIR grants from such agencies as the National Institutes for Health and the National Science Foundation, is expanding its work to connect small manufacturing and engineering firms to the growing funding opportunities at the U.S. Department of Defense.

Outreach will include training from the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center Network, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Madison, the AeroX aerospace and defense accelerator as well as a dedicated cohort in 2022 for CTC’s SBIR Ready program.

“We’re creating a communications conduit across small businesses, the UW System and the Wisconsin Air National Guard, with potential to expand even further,” said Idella Yamben, CTC director. “We also want to engage Guard members around the state in professional development to solve real-world problems in their day-to-day operations to make the military more resilient for today’s challenges.”

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation , a committed financial partner for other CTC programming, is also providing matching funds for this opportunity.

About FAST

In FY 2021, $4 million total was appropriated as grants for entities to carry out targeted activities from September 30, 2021, through September 29, 2022. Entities from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands are eligible to receive funding to provide outreach, technical, and financial assistance in support of the SBIR/STTR programs. Additional information can be found at


SBA coordinates the SBIR/STTR programs, also known as America’s Seed Fund. In FY 2021, eleven participating federal agencies will provide more than $4 billion in early-stage seed capital through over 7,000 awards to small businesses. Federal agencies announce funding opportunities as either grants or contracts to address their research and development needs. Companies supported by the SBIR/STTR programs often generate some of the most important breakthroughs each year in the U.S.  Additional information about the programs, as well as past and current topics can be found at

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit