SHARPhub Program

The SHARPhub helps faculty and trainee entrepreneurs establish and grow startup companies to commercialize life science technologies. Integral to the SHARPhub program is using the federal SBIR/STTR programs as an early stage funding mechanism.

Training and networking opportunities offered by SHARPhub are open to all interested university and regional entrepreneurs. More intensive assistance is reserved for SHARPhub cohort companies including:

  • One-on-one expert SBIR/STTR proposal development consulting (see below for specifics)
  • Access to a webinar series on SBIR/STTR proposal elements
  • Proof of concept funding opportunities
  • Assistance with market analysis and commercialization planning
  • SBIR/STTR post-award assistance, including accounting, grants management, Phase II proposal development, etc.
  • Mentorship, one-on-one coaching, guidance and other practical resources

SHARPhub assistance is provided to cohort companies at no cost to them.

Evaluation Criteria for the Cohort program

While training opportunities are open to all participants, SHARPhub cohort participants will receive additional intensive assistance to move their technologies forward. Cohorts are selected competitively on a rolling basis. A BBCetc consultant will contact you to set up a telephone discussion after your application is received. 

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Attendance at SHARPhub training:
    • Entrepreneurial Training (e.g., Startup School, iCorps, etc.)
    • Intensive Workshop: SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep for NIH
    • Commercialization Planning for SBIR/STTR Proposals
  • Life science innovation that is developed (or developing) into a startup company
  • Company headquarters and R&D operations in (or planned to be in) a SHARPhub Central Region state (KS, OK, NE, ND, SD)
  • Technology developed at a university in a SHARPhub Central IDeA state or from NIH-funded research conducted in one of the SHARPhub States
  • Fit of technology to NIH SBIR/STTR requirements
  • Sufficient time to provide meaningful assistance for targeted agency deadline

Application Deadlines:
Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible.  The SHARPhup program is a competitive program with a limited number of cohort seats available.  Once seats are filled for a specific proposal submission deadline, additional cohort applications will then be deferred to the following submission deadline.

Cohort applications must be received no later than the following deadlines to be considered for each NIH SBIR/STTR submission cycle: 

  • Received by February 21, 2020 for the April 6, 2020 Omnibus deadline
  • Received by July 17, 2020 for the September 7, 2020 Omnibus deadline
  • Received by November 13, 2020 for the January 5, 2021 Omnibus deadline
  • Received a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the submission deadline for “Special”, non-Omnibus or non-NIH solicitations

Expectations of Cohort companies:

  • Participate in an assessment call with a BBCetc consultant to discuss SBIR/STTR project plans and eligibility
  • Commit to participate and meet deadlines during the program
  • Agree to provide information about company progress for two years following cohort acceptance including all SBIR/STTR proposals submitted and awarded

Cohort SBIR/STTR Assistance Specifics:

Cohort SBIR/STTR Assistance Specifics

As a benefit of cohort participation, you have the opportunity to receive intensive one-on-one assistance to prepare an NIH SBIR or STTR proposal. Services include:

  1. Registration Assistance If you need assistance with the federal registrations required to participate in SBIR/STTR, we will work with you right away to get that in process. Remember you MUST start this process at least 6-8 weeks before the deadline.
  2. Email Tips A series of email tips and tricks with BBCetc’s templates, outlines and tips for putting together your NIH SBIR/STTR proposal will arrive as you approach the deadline, and beyond, to help keep you on track through the proposal development and submission process. You will need to provide names and email addresses of anyone on your team who wants to receive these emails. These emails begin approximately 10-12 weeks prior to the submission deadline.
  3. Tools Repository Another important resource we offer is a Trello site where we share most of these emails, and make all of our NIH SBIR/STTR outlines, tools and templates available to you on demand as you need them. There is no password for this site — you can only enter with a specific link that we will provide to you once you let us know you plan to submit a proposal. These tools are NOT to be shared outside of your company.
  4. Timeline A timeline detailing when each section of the proposal should be submitted to BBCetc for review will be provided as part of your tool package. If you know you will miss these deadlines, don’t panic, but do call or email so that we can discuss how best we can help you with the time available. There is nothing to stop you sending materials to us earlier than these deadlines! Our only firm request is that you still begin by sending the Specific Aims document and that you (at least initially) follow our outline.
  5. Iterative Review As you send each element of the proposal, we will provide detailed edits and iterative comments, including phone discussions as needed. This includes all key sections of the proposal including Biosketches, Budget, Subaward agreements, etc. We’re happy to look at multiple versions to get you to the optimum proposal.
  6. Timely Webinars A series of cohort-exclusive interactive webinars will be presented leading up to the submission deadline. These will review various proposal components as you are preparing them. It is highly recommended that someone from your team attend each webinar. A schedule will be provided when you confirm you plan to submit.
  7. Electronic Submission Our team will assist with the submission process as needed.
  8. Get a Head Start If the next deadline is more realistic for you; it will still help if you get involved in the current cycle to understand what you’ll need to do. 
SBIR/STTR Post-Award Assistance

Cohort participants who have successfully submitted a life science SBIR/STTR proposal are entitled to additional individual assistance to help you with those details need to receive an award, develop a compliant award management accounting system or prepare for your Phase II proposal:

  • Grant/contract management tool kit samples (as relevant and appropriate):
    • Company financial policies and procedures
    • DCAA compliant chart of accounts
    • Timesheet by project & Time keeping requirements
    • Grant/contract budget management spreadsheet
    • Misconduct; travel; leave; and conflict of interest policies
    • Indirect Cost and Unallowable Cost examples
    • Agency specific reporting tools
    • Personnel handbook
  • Government Accounting & Grants Management overview
    • Review of accounting system
    • Establish a compliant accounting system
    • Review financial policies and procedures
    • Report potential audit alerts
    • Review time and effort reporting procedures
    • Review indirect cost treatment
  • Phase II proposal development assistance
  • Additional services may include compliance reviews, reporting preparation and indirect cost proposal preparation.