Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $256,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II (up to $1,000,000). Small businesses with Phase II funding are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.

Startups or entrepreneurs who submit a three-page Project Pitch will know within one month if they meet the program’s objectives to support innovative technologies that show promise of commercial and/or societal impact and involve a level of technical risk. Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential are encouraged to apply. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program, also known as America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, undergo a rigorous merit-based review process. To learn more about America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/


About the National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs: America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $2 million to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8.5 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.

“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, Division Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs".







at an injury site through delivery in inert, injectable hydrogel microparticles.  The research objectives of this project are twofold;


1. Quantitively assessing metrics of cell viability and stromal cell-like behavior of hydrogel microencapsulated  cells and compare them to baseline unencapsulated cell metrics, and


2. Provide explicit evidence that the encapsulation process localizes cells and preserves their viability, is nontoxic and non-immunogenic, and demonstrates markers of superior tissue regeneration in a small animal model similar to that of its intended commercial use.


This study is expected to enable the quantitative elucidation of cell viability and biomolecular response to encapsulation in hydrogel microenvironments, and establish preliminary safety and efficacy results of hydrogel-encapsulated MSCs required to move forward with a Phase II study in Equine suspensory ligament defects.

CellDrop's Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR): This Phase I Project will address the problem of slow healing suspensory ligament injuries for elite Equine athletes. The majority of equine vets use stem cell injections to aid in recovery of these injuries, however, this strategy has limited efficacy due to poor viability of injected cells and short cell retention times at the site of injury. This problem is addressed by developing technology to preserve and localize mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)