TEDCO Awarded $125,000 Grant from The U.S. Small Business Administration

TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, has been awarded $125,000 by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) through its Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program. TEDCO is one of 44 recipients to receive the award, which will support TEDCO’s SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab.

FAST funding exists to improve outcomes for women-owned, rural-based, and small disadvantaged businesses in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs by increasing their participation. Utilizing FAST funds, TEDCO helps prepare these small research and development firms to compete in the SBIR/STTR Program, which provided more than $4 billion in non-dilutive, early-stage seed capital in 2022.

With the FAST grant, the TEDCO team will continue to offer the Maryland SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab, developed with the goal of improving proposal quality, submission rates, and win rates for women-owned, rural-based, and small disadvantaged businesses. The Maryland Proposal Lab has an established track record of doubling the award rate of Phase I SBIR/STTR applications through a series of training workshops, mentoring, expert proposal reviews, and targeted consulting culminating in proposal submission.

The Maryland Proposal Lab uses the National Science Foundation (NSF) SBIR/STTR solicitation as a teaching tool because of its broad applicability in a variety of industries. Rural, women-owned, and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs that have never won an SBIR/STTR Phase I award are especially encouraged to apply.

“We know that SBIR/STTR awards can be game changers for our underrepresented businesses, and we thank the SBA for creating this award and recognizing TEDCO’s role in helping qualifying businesses with their award submissions,” said Troy LeMaile-Stovall, TEDCO’s CEO. “The SBA’s FAST grant award closely aligns with TEDCO’s mission to foster an inclusive and entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem here in Maryland.”

A cohort of approximately 25 companies will be selected to participate in the Maryland SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab. The workshops will guide the cohort from SBIR/STTR solicitation issuance through proposal submission. The Lab will also provide the cohort with the skillset to win other government and commercial proposals for the businesses’ long-term success.

“TEDCO has a proven track record of helping Proposal Lab participants enhance their success rates with SBIR/STTR awards,” said Stephen Auvil, chief program operations officer, TEDCO. “This FAST grant award allows us to continue this work, and we encourage start-up founders with innovative ideas to reach out to TEDCO to learn how the Proposal Lab could help them improve the likelihood of receiving a non-dilutive early-stage SBIR/STTR award.”

Dr. Elizabeth Clayborne, the founder of NasaClip, can attest to the effectiveness of TEDCO’s SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab: after participating in the lab, NasaClip received a $256,000 SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation.

“As a member of TEDCO’s Proposal Lab cohort, I found the staff were true mentors throughout the SBIR Phase 1 application process, providing a structured step-by-step program that helped me tackle the daunting task of applying for an NSF SBIR Phase I grant,” said Clayborne. “The access to experienced advisors, coupled with extensive feedback, was crucial to my successful application.”

We are selecting up to 25 companies to participate in a unique opportunity to join the next SBA FAST* SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab. The application period closes on December 31, 2022 or sooner if all the seats are filled. The application process is competitive and companies are admitted on a first-come, first-serve basis if they qualify. To apply, click here. Watch the Proposal Lab video to learn more by clicking here.

The FAST award grant provides one year of funding to assist in implementing statewide programs to increase the number of proposals and awards and to prepare awardees for success beyond the program. TEDCO will use the funding to conduct virtual on-line workshops, pop-up in person events, and ad hoc after-hours sessions.

To be awarded, candidates had to be endorsed by their state governor, as only one proposal was accepted from each state or territory. TEDCO was selected by the Governor as Maryland’s FAST team and will continue working with OST Global Solutions, Inc. (OST) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to help small businesses write competitive proposals that win federal SBIR/STTR awards.

Proposals were evaluated by panels of Federal reviewers led by the SBA.


TEDCO, the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, enhances economic empowerment growth through the fostering of an inclusive entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. TEDCO identifies, invests in, and helps grow technology and life science-based companies in Maryland. Learn more at www.tedcomd.com.