A University of Arkansas at Little Rock-based center recently received $200,000 to support innovative small businesses.
The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC), based at UA Little Rock, is one of only five small business technology development centers in the country to receive the grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“Arkansas has many gifted, creative entrepreneurs and university researchers,” ASBTDC State Director Laura Fine said. “We look forward to helping these Arkansas innovators explore and develop the commercial potential of their research and ideas.”
The funding from the Small Business Administration’s Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program is designed to stimulate economic development with outreach and technical assistance to science- and technology-driven small businesses.
The program emphasizes fostering participation from women-owned and socially and economically disadvantaged firms, helping them to compete in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
“FAST partners fill an important role on the state level, providing training, financial and technical assistance for small, advanced technology businesses, by helping them navigate federally-funded innovation and R&D programs,” said Linda McMahon, administrator of the Small Business Administration.
With the grant, the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center will continue providing one-on-one mentoring to university researchers and small tech companies looking to apply for SBIR/STTR grants and contracts.
The center also plans to hold 16 educational events designed to increase the number of SBIR/STTR applicants from Arkansas. Participants will learn about commercial strategy development, market research, and grant proposal writing.
Photo of ASBTDC State Director Laura Fine by Lonnie Timmons III/UA Little Rock Communications.