University of Georgia

Innovation Gateway awarded SBA grant to support innovation grants

Ian Biggs, director of the startup program in Innovation Gateway
Ian Biggs, director of the startup program in Innovation Gateway, has decades of experience building businesses and helps turn research from UGA faculty into startup businesses. (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski)

As one of 33 FAST grant recipients in 2021, Innovation Gateway’s startup team is expanding its ability to support startups and technology-based small businesses affiliated with UGA.

Powered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program is a competitive grant program for organizations that work with small businesses in underrepresented and disadvantaged areas. The FAST grant will provide Innovation Gateway with $125,000 per year for three years to support applications for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants, which are awarded to startup businesses engaged in developing advanced technologies.

“At Innovation Gateway, we work with anywhere from 30 to 130 businesses based on faculty-driven research. This grant will help cover some of the upfront cost of the grant process and be used to support outreach events within the state,” said Ian Biggs, director of Gateway’s startup program.

Gateway’s startup program helps to streamline the path for UGA researchers from the laboratory or field to the marketplace. Since 2015, the number of startups in the program has increased by 150%. Currently, the pipeline has over 100 projects at all stages of development and continues to grow.

With help from the FAST grant, Biggs’ team can allocate more resources toward this growing pipeline. With an increase in specialized training, mentoring and technical assistance opportunities, Innovation Gateway will enhance its ability to support the development of new products and companies based on UGA research.

Specifically, Biggs hopes to increase the number of SBIR and STTR grants awarded to women, historically underserved individuals and small businesses in underrepresented and rural areas of Georgia.

The startup team is launching its FAST grant project in late October and will target their work to support small businesses in the state of Georgia.