The NYC Regional Innovation Node (NYCRIN)  piloted a new NSF program, SBIR Phase 0 with the goal of identifying and improving potential applicants to the NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I program. SBIR Phase 0 helped teams who developed a deep technology innovation to participate in the I-Corps process to test its commercialization potential, and to receive follow-on workshops and support to launch a new business.

In 2018, NYCRIN nominated, trained, and/or assisted over 30 teams through this program alone.

At this moment, this program is being evaluated and is on hold. For comments or inquiries, please contact info@nycrin.org

Eligibility

To qualify, teams should:

  • Develop a deep technology (high-risk, high-reward)
  • Not be otherwise eligible for a traditional I-Corps Team program (i.e. no previous NSF award or one that has been inactive for 5 years)
  • Consist of at least two entrepreneurs (at least one of those with a deep technical focus) plus at least one mentor with industry (preferably startup) experience
  • Plan to form a company (upon completion of this program)
  • Plan for the Technical Lead in the team (the future Principal Investigator (PI) on the SBIR grant) to have 50%+ effort at the company
  • Plan to submit an NSF SBIR Phase I application (upon completion of this program)

If you are an existing company, you may qualify should the company:

  • Develop a deep technology (high-risk, high-reward)
  • Not be otherwise eligible for a traditional I-Corps Team program (i.e. no previous NSF award or one that has been inactive for 5 years)
  • Consist of at least two entrepreneurs (at least one of those with a deep technical focus) plus at least one mentor with industry (preferably startup) experience
  • Plan for the Technical Lead in the company (the future Principal Investigator (PI) on the SBIR grant) to have 50%+ effort at the company
  • Plan to submit an NSF SBIR Phase I application (upon completion of this program)

Funding

SBIR Phase 0 Teams successfully admitted into the national cohort may have the option to request reimbursement for customer discovery related expenses up to $25,000 based on availability of funds and adherence to institutional and programmatic policies.

Eligible expenses include national cohort registration fees, travel (to and from the kickoff and finale) and accommodation (to and from the kickoff and finale). Throughout the program, teams are also required to schedule customer discovery related trips. Eligible expenses include trips to trade shows and local interviews.

Expenses prohibited by the New York City Regional Innovation Node (NYCRIN) include: laboratory research costs (including IT & software); administrative support costs; stipend to members of the team; marketing and legal costs; tuition; space, construction or renovation; furniture; publication expenses; or equipment (including computers).

Other Considerations

  • The national cohort is a rigorous course and very time-intensive. Teams, particularly the entrepreneurs, must commit a minimum of 15 hours/week.
  • The national cohort is 7 weeks in length and attendance for the entire team is mandatory at all events. Teams must be on-site for the 3-day kickoff (Week 1), the weekly online WebEx meetings (Weeks 2-6) and the 2-day finale (Week 7).

NYCRIN Testimonials