SBA Awards Grants to 33 Groups to Help Underserved Communities Succeed

    WASHINGTON (Globe Newsire) — The U.S. Small Business Administration issued 32 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.