Ask SmallBiz: Funding

August, 2009


Q: Our small business develops content and we are looking for funding to innovate its delivery, such as over the Internet and mobile devices. Where can a small company find funding?

Lynn B. Wilson, PhD,
President, Webfish Pacific.

A: Federal funding is an excellent resource for funding projects or technology development for your company. For example, the Small Business Innovation Research program ( and the Small Business Technology Transfer program are both administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Technology. Together, these two programs have provided $2.2 billion dollars to small high-tech businesses.

Eleven federal departments participate in the SBIR program and five participate in the STTR program. Companies may receive up to $100,000 for a SBIR Phase I award and up to $750,000 for a Phase II award.

There are also several local organizations that provide research and development funding as well as business and technical assistance.

  • The High Technology Development Corporation ( HTDC’s Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research Assistance Program provides proposal-writing training and consulting to qualified Hawaii companies. This program also provides matching grants up to $25,000 for qualified companies that received an SBIR grant. HTDC will host its 11th Biennial Hawaii SBIR & STTR Conference on Federal Funding opportunities for innovation leading to commercialization Nov. 16-20. Federal program managers from the various agencies will be available to answer questions about the opportunities available to small businesses. Join HTDC’s mailing list to receive up-to-date information.
  • National Defense Center of Excellence for Research in Ocean Sciences (

CEROS funded 238 projects with a total of $91.69 million since 1993. CEROS will hold its annual Industry Day on Sept. 15-16, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and is expected to have $9 million available for technology development.

  • Hawaii Technology Development Venture (

HTDV funded 76 projects with a total of more than $17 million since 2004. HTDV, a program of the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (, funds technology development efforts related to U.S. Navy and Department of Defense programs.

  • Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture (

HREDV’s mission is to assist in developing a more robust clean-energy industry in Hawaii. This recent program under the PICTR will have about $4 million available for funding later in 2009.

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