Office of Investment and Innovation
The Office of Investment and Innovation (OII) supports high growth small businesses through the following four programs:
Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs): Since 1958, the mission of the SBIC program has been to stimulate and supplement 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 accomplishes its mission by licensing privately owned and professionally managed funds that provide financings, using privately raised capital and SBA-guaranteed leverage, to small businesses seeking growth capital.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR): Established in 1982, the mission of the SBIR program is to stimulate technological innovation in the US 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, the STTR program 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.
SBA’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), namely: Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs); Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR); Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR); and, the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.