Learn, Connect & Change the World

The Sustainable Heartland Accelerator Regional Partnership (SHARP) Hub provides the infrastructure to help researchers commercialize game-changing technologies through startup companies to help improve lives around the globe. Through SHARPhub, entrepreneurs can access training and mentoring, as well as connections with investors and partners, to assist them in spinning out their life science discoveries into startup companies.

SHARPhub is the result of a 2018 FastTrack STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) grant awarded to BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting (BBCetc) by the National Institutes of Health. A significant part of SHARPhub’s focus is helping startups develop competitive
SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) and STTR grant applications to provide seed capital to fund R&D. These two federal programs provide a compelling source of non-dilutive funding that encourages technology-based businesses to explore ideas and profit from their commercialization. The BBCetc team is nationally recognized for its success in helping clients secure SBIR/STTR funding and use it strategically to propel growth. Learn more at bbcetc.com.

The SHARPhub focuses on training, early-stage funding, mentoring and networking
to help innovators accelerate the transfer of biomedical technology
to the commercial market.


Through classes, workshops and webinars, faculty and students can learn about market assessment, protecting intellectual property,
customer discovery, starting a company, funding the company through the SBIR/STTR program and more.

Mentoring and Coaching

Through the SHARPhub Cohort program, innovators receive one-on-one coaching, guidance and advice from well-connected experts.
Cohort program participants will receive SBIR/STTR proposal development and business mentorship. 


Faculty, staff and student entrepreneurs will network with startup executives, subject matter experts and other entrepreneurs
at local SHARPhub training programs and cohort events. Watch our Training & Events page for these opportunities.

Program Partners

BBC Entrepreneurial Training and Consulting (BBCetc) and the University of Kansas (KU) lead a consortium
of SHARPhub partners comprised of universities in the five-state region. The SHARPhub is made possible by
a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant.

BBC Entrepreneurial Training and Consulting (BBCetc)

BBCetc helps entrepreneurs and companies bring technology to market through training, grant assistance and commercialization planning.  The company works with a wide range of clients from individual companies to universities, SBDC’s and tech-based economic development organizations across the U.S. BBCetc also manages Michigan’s SBIR/STTR Assistance Program, which has brought more than $242 million in SBIR/STTR awards into that state since 2002.

University of Kansas

The KU Center for Technology Commercialization supports faculty and student innovators by providing extensive startup resources, training and partnership opportunities. KU’s Bioscience & Technology Business Center includes a startup incubator to promote biomedical discoveries.

University of Nebraska Medical Center

A not-for-profit, UNeMed provides technology development and commercialization services to faculty and students. In 2015, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Nebraska at Omaha partnered to create a Biomedical Technology Institute specifically to nurture biotech startups.

University of North Dakota

The Office of Corporate Engagement & Commercialization at UND helps translate the University’s $125 million research enterprise to the private sector. The group provides assistance to innovators, entrepreneurs, and researchers to launch new ventures, commercialize new technologies, and secure capital.

University of Oklahoma

The Office of Economic Development at OU helps manage intellectual property, technology transfer and business development. Through a variety of programs and organizations, faculty and students have access to entrepreneurial training, resources, mentoring and more.

University of South Dakota

The Technology Transfer Office brings USD’s discoveries to the public and spurs economic development while promoting innovation and enhancing research. The Beacom School of Business i2i Business Model Competition gives students the chance to win funding for their business ideas.

Regional IDeA Hubs

The goal of the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program is to broaden the geographic distribution of NIH funding. It seeks to advance faculty development, institutional research infrastructure and investigator competitiveness in 23 states, plus Puerto Rico, that have historically received low levels of support from NIH.

The Northeast, Southeast and Western IDeA regions will develop and contribute additional programs to help spur biomedical research into commercial products and services.