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Isabel Casillas Guzmán, SBA Administrator.
The SBA administrator and her constant support for small business owners. Photo: @SBAIsabel.

SBA announces new grant for more than $5.4 million

The resources will be used to strengthen research funding opportunities in the U.S.

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The announcement, which came from the hand of Isabel Casillas Guzmán, administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), highlights 44 beneficiaries of the Federal and State Technology Partnership Program (FAST).

Casillas Guzmán stated:

When we enable equitable access to federal research funding, we empower more of our nation’s entrepreneurs and scientists to translate their cutting-edge ideas into commercial enterprises.

What is the FAST Program?

This initiative provides small businesses and startups, especially those in underserved communities, with specialized training sessions, mentorship, and technical assistance for research and development.

By facilitating the construction of inclusive business ecosystems that help entrepreneurs grow their networks and income opportunities with new capital, FAST seeks to strengthen the competitiveness of small and new businesses across the country by offering them access to Research programs from Small Business Innovation (SBIR), and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR).

FAST in 2022

As part of this year's expansion of the program, which now has a presence in 43 states, an additional 12 awards were created, all built on the success of previous FAST cohorts.

Some of the beneficiary organizations are state and local economic development entities, Small Business Technology Development Centers, Small Business Development Centers, Centers for Women Entrepreneurs, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, incubators, accelerators, colleges and universities.

“This is why doubling our funding of FAST grants and expanding the network of awardees is so critical to building a stronger and more inclusive innovation economy that invests in all of our communities,” added Casillas Guzmán. 

In fiscal year 2022, $6 million were allocated for entities to carry out defined activities under the legislative authority of the FAST Partnership Program. Grant recipients qualify for prizes of up to $125,000 each.

With $4 million in funding in fiscal year 2021, FAST helped small businesses win more than $88 million in SBIR and STTR awards, a 22:1 return for every dollar spent by taxpayers.

The FAST program awards grants for a one-year base period, plus four optional 12-month continuation periods. Thirty-two FAST recipients from the 2021 cohort were also selected for second or third year funding.

For the full list of FAST recipients click here.

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