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SBIR Road Tour: Seeding America's Future Innovations

America's Seed Fund (the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs) annually provides approximately over $3 billion in non-dilutive early-stage technology funding. The SBIR Road Tour is an opportunity for tech innovators, entrepreneurs, and researchers to learn how to access this funding, meet one-on-one with decision makers, and connect with local state innovation ecosystem members. This one-day event will provide attendees, including women and minority entrepreneurs, the opportunity to engage with representatives from various SBIR/STTR agencies.

If you’re an innovator, entrepreneur, researcher, or small technology firm, don’t miss this opportunity.


Friday, September 20
8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Riggs Alumni Center, University of Maryland, 7801 Alumni Dr., College Park, MD 20742
Interactive University of Maryland Campus Map (provides walking routes, public transportation stops and other useful information)

We strongly encourage carpool and public transit options for transportation. We reserved a limited amount of paid parking spots for the event attendees near the event venue. All registered attendees will receive an email with instructions on how to purchase such parking option.  


Deadline: September 15
Please register by 9 a.m. on September 10 in order to schedule one-on-one meetings with the agencies ahead of time. Please add [email protected] as a safe email address so communications from SBA do not end up in your SPAM folder.

  • Registration Cost: $65.00
  • University of Maryland Current Students (university ID # required): $25.00

Register Here

*Advance registration is required. Registration is non-refundable.

Agency Participation

Meet one-on-one with these confirmed agencies:
  • U.S. Air Force (USAF)
  • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service (USDA - ARS)
  • Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Department of Defense - Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
  • Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency (MDA)
  • Department of Defense – Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR)
  • Department of Defense – Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)
  • DoD Joint Science & Technology Office for Chemical & Biological Defense (JSTO-CBD)
  • Department of Health and Human Services - National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) 
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
  • Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) 

Want to know who you will be meeting with? Review the names and bios of Program Managers attending 2019 Eastern SBIR Road Tour.


8:00 - 8:45 a.m. - Registration and Networking

8:50 - 9:00 a.m. - Host Introduction and Welcome

  • Paul Bardack, State Director, Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
  • Ken Porter, Executive Director, UM Ventures – College Park 

9:00 - 11:00 a.m. - SBIR/STTR Federal Agency Pitches and Presentations by FLC and USPTO;  One-on-One Meetings*

11:00 - 11:25 a.m. - Keynote Address 

11:25 a.m. - 12:05 p.m. - Flexible Funding Opportunities: The Granting Agencies
Description: Panel discussion with Program Managers highlighting the unique aspects guiding the SBIR granting agencies. Topics include agency interest points, investigator-initiated projects, proposal evaluation, agency contacts, and commercialization strategies.

12:05 - 12:15 p.m. - Lunch Buffet break 

12:15 - 12:45 p.m. - SBIR Success Story: Fireside Chat

  • Julie Lenzer, UMD Chief Innovation Officer
  • Abhishek Motayed, Founder and CEO of N5 Sensors 

12:45 - 1:45 p.m. - Funding your startup beyond SBIR
Description: Learn about funding opportunities through Maryland TEDCO, SBA loans, private equity, and Maryland Industrial Partnerships program.

  • John Gustin, Assistant Director, Maryland Innovation Initiative, TEDCO
  • Joe Naft, Director, Maryland Industrial Partnerships, Mtech, UMD
  • Stan Smith, Venture Investment Manager, UMD
  • Paul Bardack, State Director, SBDC 

1:45 - 2:30 p.m. - Inside the Head of an Evaluator: Common Mistakes
Description: Panel discussion with Agency Program Managers on the most common and avoidable mistakes made by applicants, as well as candid insights for preparing more competitive proposals.

2:30 - 3:00 p.m. - Program conclusion, networking

*One-on-One sessions run concurrently with agency presentations and panels.

Agenda subject to change.

Learn more at

Follow America’s Seed Fund on Twitter via @sbirgov #SBIRRoadTour or #seedthefuture

This SBIR Road Tour stop is Hosted By: UM Ventures and Maryland Small Business Development Center

SBIR Road Tour Sponsors: Maryland Department of Commerce, TEDCO, and MII