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The Missouri Small Business Development Centers received a $125,000 award for specialized training, business counseling and technical assistance for R&D-focused small businesses under the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program.

FAST seeks to improve outcomes in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for underserved communities by increasing participation from women-owned, rural-based and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses.

“Being awarded the 2021 FAST grant allows us to continue our efforts to expand the reach of services for technology innovation to all communities in Missouri, as well as improve the volume and competitiveness of SBIR/STTR applications and continue to strengthen Missouri’s entrepreneurial ecosystem as the tech hub in the Midwest,” said Jill Meyer, Missouri SBDC director of technology and innovation.

The Missouri SBDC and BioSTL have collaborated on this grant to leverage expertise and resources to identify entrepreneurs and founders across the state to further build the ecosystem for SBIR.

“BioSTL has had great success over the years to foster engagement with and provide support to entrepreneurs of color and women entrepreneurs,” said Greg Tucker, Missouri SBDC state director. “Our collaboration with BioSTL provides the most comprehensive solution for increasing the pipeline of innovation-led businesses across Missouri.”

The Missouri SBDC and BioSTL alliance will bring innovation-led training targeted to rural communities as well as minority and women entrepreneurs. Missouri SBDC team members have specific expertise and knowledge in the technology/innovation space. Aspiring entrepreneurs, technology founders, and faculty can receive one-on-one assistance to complete and submit applications for SBIR or STTR grants.

The FAST grant allows the Missouri SBDC to provide Phase 0 grants to founders pursuing technological innovations. The Phase 0 grant will be for grant-writing assistance to strengthen the submission so the applicant will have an improved opportunity to be awarded an SBIR or STTR grant. There is $50,000 that will be used to fund 20 grants across the state through this opportunity.

For technology founders, the Missouri SBDC has several upcoming events that are made available through the FAST grant funding:

Got R&D Money? Top Tips for Funding R&D With Grants

10-11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, via Zoom.

NSF SBIR Interactive Workshop

8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7, and 8:30-11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8, via Zoom. Fee of $99 is covered by Phase 0 FAST Grant.

TechKnow: Your Idea/Innovation Strengths

2-4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7, via Zoom.

About the Missouri SBDC

The Missouri SBDC is here to help business owners and entrepreneurs get the information needed to make confident decisions and help Missouri businesses succeed. It doesn’t matter if the business is a metro area startup or a rural company looking to expand. The business experts of the Missouri SBDC are your neighbors, dedicated to helping businesses grow. Learn more at

The Missouri SBDC, hosted by University of Missouri Extension, is an accredited member of America’s SBDC. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, institutions of higher education, economic development organizations and other public and private funding partners. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.