Press release 21-68

SBA Awards Grants to 33 Organizations to Help Underserved Communities Succeed with the Small Business Innovation Research Program

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration issued 33 grant awards up to $125,000 each for specialized training, mentoring, and technical assistance for research and development (R&D)-focused small businesses under the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program.  FAST seeks to improve outcomes in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs for underserved communities by increasing participation from women-owned, rural-based, and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses.

“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.

“Our FAST Partnership Program is designed to empower the innovation ecosystem at the local level and help underserved communities gain access to SBIR and STTR, or America’s Seed Fund -- the largest source of early-stage capital in the United States. FAST’s continued growth will strengthen the national innovation ecosystem and ensure all small businesses are better positioned in this next stage of recovery to access unprecedented investments to reimagine our future economy that will be made available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework and President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.”

Recipients this year cover a wide geographic area, and include state and local economic development organizations, Small Business Technology Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, incubators, accelerators, colleges, and universities.  All organizations will provide support to small businesses developing advanced technologies. 

“The SBA’s investment in Oklahoma, through the FAST program, has been vital to OK Catalyst reaching untapped communities in the Heartland through training and mentorship programs that embolden women and minority entrepreneurs with transformational potential to launch new products and grow a business,” said Sarah Hamby, Director, OK Catalyst. “FAST funding has enabled OK Catalyst to drastically improve the competitiveness and success of SBIR/STTR proposals in our state.”  

The FAST Partnership Program makes awards for a base period of 12 months, plus two optional continuation periods of 12 months, if eligible.  

The FAST grantees are as follows:

Awardees – 2022 Cohort – Base Year




Arizona Commerce Authority


Innovation Gateway at the University of Georgia


Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation


Louisiana Business & Technology Center/LSU


The Curators of the University of Missouri

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Small Business and Technology Development Centers

South Dakota

South Dakota Biotech Council


Launch TN


Center for Technology Commercialization


Awardees – 2021 Cohort – Second Year




University of Arkansas at Little Rock- Arkansas SBTDC


The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade


Connecticut Innovations, Inc.


University of Delaware


Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC)


EnterpriseWorks at the University of Illinois


Wichita State University


Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO)


Minnesota Technology Association


Innovate Mississippi


Montana State University


Nebraska Business Development Center, University of Nebraska at Omaha

New Hampshire


New Mexico

Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University

North Carolina

First Flight Venture Center, Inc.


Ohio Aerospace Institute


OK Catalyst




Ben Franklin Technology Partners Corporation

South Carolina

University of South Carolina


SWTXB SBDC Technology Commercialization Center


Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)

West Virginia

TechConnect West Virginia


University of Wyoming Small Business Development Center


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

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