The Delaware Small Business Development Center has been awarded a three-year Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership program from the Small Business Administration Office of Investment and Innovation.
For over 35 years, the Delaware Small Business Development Center (DSBDC) has been providing assistance to Delaware’s small business community in the form of information, counseling, and education. DSBDC’s technical assistance has resulted in more than 1,500 new business starts and 5,000 jobs (since inception), and since 2010, over $500 million in capital. In 2009, DSBDC became only the eighth SBDC accredited as a “technology” designated program after demonstrating: 1) its significant efforts to target and support Delaware’s technology- based businesses, and 2) its pivotal role as an essential connector and resource within Delaware’s entrepreneurial and technology ecosystems.
DSBDC’s flagship technology initiative is its SBIResource™ program. DSBDC created the SBIResource™ program to provide SBIR/STTR education and outreach to technology-based entrepreneurs, with a particular focus on outreach to women, minorities, and rural and disadvantaged communities as well as university founders. FAST funding is crucial to the expansion of this program and makes it possible to provide third party expertise and mini-grants for conferences and grant writing assistance with nationally known organizations.
Most notably, 88% of all SBIR funds awarded in the State of Delaware since 2016 went to past or current DSBDC clients.
Of particular immediate interest to the community is the iDEaLAB Accelerator Cohort. This accelerator program will help two cohorts of up to 10 businesses (20 participants per year) over an 8-week period using the “So What? Who Cares? Why You?” accelerator methodology. This methodology is an internationally approved process used by the European Space Agency, the Air Force Research Lab, and multinational corporations as a way to vet a concept and initiate a new product or business. The methodology transcends traditional lectures/customer discovery methods and immerses small businesses in hands-on workshops that emphasize “learning-by-doing”. DSBDC’s iDEaLAB Team consists of three to four certified/licensed instructors who will lead the sessions. The program will: help entrepreneurs move their innovations closer to commercialization; connect participants to industry experts/mentors; and, create a pipeline of SBIR clients that are better prepared to commercialize technical innovations using SBIR grant funds.
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