SBIR/STTR Workshop

Sure, it takes a long time to get SBIR funding, and the application is complex, but many startups in our community have gone from their kitchen table to active labwork using SBIR funds. And the funding can be quite substantial. One company has received more than $5 million in non-dilutive financing from the NCI. The trick is simple: apply as soon as possible, apply as often as possible, and file the most competitive possible grant application you can.

This is where we come in. We promise that if you follow our steps you won’t be among the 20% whose applications are rejected before they even make it to review, and we’ll assure you that you will have a well-structured and competitive application.

QB3 offers three SBIR workshops a year geared towards the NIH submission deadlines of January 5, April 5, and September 5 (in 2016), plus a number of two-session bootcamps on the specifics of NSF SBIRs. See below for details, or contact Kaspar Mossman.

links to live & Upcoming Sessions

Our UCSF course, targeting the Jan. 5, 2017 deadline, and taught by Shauna Farr-Jones, is currently in progress.

Our Berkeley thread of the workshop will run 2:30-5:00 pm on successive Tuesdays, November 29, December 6, and December 13. It also targets the Jan. 5, 2017 deadline, and is taught by Gabrielle Leblanc. Register now

course content

Sessions generally follow the same format, with some variations. Here's what a typical course entails.

This five-session workshop will take you through all the steps necessary to successfully file a well-written SBIR/STTR grant application for the April 5 NIH SBIR deadline. This course will focus on crafting a well-structured research plan, getting persuasive letters of support, crafting an efficient budget, and helping you anticipate reviewers’ comments. We will help you speed through the application instructions, saving you hours of time. The course culminates in a submission clinic that will ensure your application is correctly filed.

One or more team members from the company should be prepared to attend every session. Remember to bring your laptop; these will be working sessions.

Course includes

  • Five 2.5-hour working sessions
  • One 1-hour resubmission working session
  • One 1-hour Phase 2 working session
  • Two 1-hour NSF working sessions
  • Pre-submission review of specific aims by our course instructors

Topics include

  • Understanding the requirements of an SBIR
  • Preparing to apply for an SBIR (company formation, registration at all required websites, identifying the best PI)
  • Assembling all the necessary parts of the application (letters of support, sub-contract quotes and letters, facilities to execute the grant, and research plan)
  • Composing a competitive research plan
  • Understanding and assembling a budget and justification
  • Documentation required to use human samples, vertebrate animals, select agents, resources
  • Composing competitive innovation and significance sections as well as specific aims
  • Searching for program announcements and finding opportunities
  • Assembling and filing (completing the 424 correctly and filing on time)






Date 1

1:00-3:30 pm


SBIR session 1

Date 2

1:00-4:30 pm


SBIR session 2 + NSF session 1

Date 3

1:00-4:30 pm


SBIR session 3 + NSF session 2

Date 4

1:00-4:30 pm


SBIR session 4 + Phase 2 session

Date 5

1:00-4:30 pm


SBIR session 5 + SBIR resubmission session


Shauna Farr-Jones, PhD, UCSF/QB3 grant writer

Kaspar Mossman, PhD, QB3 communications & marketing director

General rate for the entire 14-hour workshop: $750 per company

Rate for UC-affiliated founders who are using this class registration to join QB3 Startup in a Box: $250 per company

Rate for non-UC-affiliated founders who are using this class registration to join QB3 Startup in a Box: $350 for entire course per company

QB3 Startup in a Box membership fee includes this workshop. If you are already a member, you may register for free (ask Kaspar Mossman for the code).

A light snack and coffee is included for all sessions.

Acceptance into a future course is guaranteed with a waived fee if the company’s application is unsuccessful.