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Securing capital for a startup to develop its technology for commercialization is not easy.  Federal grants such as the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) have become critical in helping small businesses mature their technologies and bring them to market.  The SBIR/STTR program, America’s Seed Fund, provides access to the country’s largest source of early stage funding of over $3.7 billion in a broad range of technology fields.

Navigating the process for applying and securing SBIR/STTR funds may be a daunting task for entrepreneurs.  UC Riverside’s EPIC Small Business Development Center has partnered with program managers of 20 federal agencies to organize this year’s “SoCal SBIR/STTR CON20”, a two-week virtual conference taking place from October 6-16, 2020. The conference aims at facilitating direct engagement with agencies’ program managers and providing key tools and resources that will increase the probability of success in securing funding.

“If you are a seasoned or aspiring entrepreneur looking for funding, you should not miss the opportunity to learn about this program and speak to program managers about your company” said Martin Kleckner, EPIC SBDC Entrepreneur in Residence and Conference co-organizer.

The conference will feature presentations from twenty federal agencies, and offer the opportunity for participants to schedule one-on-one meetings with program managers from participating agencies. Workshops on relevant topics such as early stage capital investment, research design and management, formation of corporate partnerships, and research commercialization guidance will take place throughout the two-week conference.

Sponsored by the Small Business Administration through the OCIE SBDC, this free virtual conference is organized by UCR’s EPIC Small Business Development Center and UCR’s SBIR/STTR Resource Center.

 EPIC SBDC provides individualized mentorship and access to capital to technology entrepreneurs. Since, its inauguration in 2018, the SBIR/STTR Resource Center has helped entrepreneurs submit over 50 SBIR/STTR applications and raise over $5M in non- dilutive funding. 

“Our approach to mentorship has been very effective as demonstrated by our a higher than average success rate of 35%,” said Misty Madero, SBIR/STTR Resource Center Manager and conference co-organizer.  

SoCal SBIR/STTR CON20 begins on Tuesday, October 6 and concludes on Friday, October 16. Register online at or contact Misty Madero, UC Riverside Office of Technology Partnerships, SBIR/STTR Resource Center Manager at .