Tips from Todd!

CTC Sparks: The Innovator Series – Tuesdays and Thursdays connect to CTC’s thought leaders for assistance in getting your innovation funded through the SBIR/STTR program!

Now is the time for Innovation. Did you know the federal government has a $3.7B set aside for Small businesses (US owned under 500 employees)! Whether you’ve been in business for decades or just starting, there is funding available to move new technologies and products forward from agriculture, manufacturing, education and more!

Season 3, Episode 4 – Academic Grants vs. SBIRs

When seeking funding ???? for your innovation, there are many things you must consider. One of them is deciding whether you will want to apply for academic ???? grants or an SBIR/STTR. Find out the difference today:

See how Todd can help determine what is right for you:

Season 3, Episode 3 – Collaborations

Teamwork makes the dream work! Collaborations can help your innovation succeed (and sometimes they are necessary for SBIR/STTR funding). Find out more in this episode of Tips from Todd:

Connect with Todd to start collaborating:

Season 3, Episode 2 – SBIR Proposal Aims

Do you have your SBIR proposal aims set? Are they dependent or independent on each other? Catch up with Todd before he tries to go catch ???? some fish for more:

Catch up with Todd:

Season 3, Episode 1 – Make it easy for your reviewer!

Coming off his Season 2 Movie, Todd is back for Tips Season 3!
He’s out on the water (with a friend) to let you know how your SBIR proposal can make your and your reviewers’ lives easier!

Talk to Todd said for more:

Tips from Todd – The Movie!

For 2020 National Small Business Week, Todd is here to help you on YOUR commercialization journey that takes YOU from idea to Phase I SBIR/STTR proposal. Check out this long form version to see how your innovative idea can become a reality:

**Correction: When the term “affidavit” is used, it is meant to be “notarized letter.”

As Todd said, most importantly, “reach out and get started!”

Season 2, Episode 16 – Competition

When developing an innovation, your competition must be known and addressed. How do you find out who your competition is? How does this play into your SBIR funding proposal? Find out today!

Reach out to Todd for more:

Season 2, Episode 15 – Proposal Resubmission

Did your initial SBIR proposal not get funded? Don’t worry! You can resubmit with an increased chance of funding. Get some Tips on how:

Contact CTC to find out more:

Season 2, Episode 14 – Email a Program Manager

There is no template for contacting your program officer but Todd has some great Tips to get you started! Check them out (and come back to see if Todd makes it out of his fishing spot):

Season 2, Episode 13 – PI Responsibilities

Your Principal Investigator has many responsibilities (just like Todd in this video ????). Most importantly being in charge of the science of your project. Watch to learn more about your PI (and don’t forget to watch to the end):

Season 2, Episode 12 – Facilities & Equipment

You have the idea but do you have what it takes to develop your innovation? That is one of the main criteria for developing and commercializing your product. Find out more from Todd before he heads out fishing – with the right equipment of course!

Season 2, Episode 11 – Executive Summary

An Executive Summary may seem daunting, like being caught outside in the rain ⛈, but it can elevate your innovation and clarify your objectives before spending time on a full proposal. Learn more about the importance of Executive Summaries in Tips from Todd:

Want your executive summary reviewed, contact Todd:

Season 2, Episode 10 – Contact Your Program Officer

Tips from Todd kicks off the “Paddle Series” with one of his most important tips — Contact a program officer! For some agencies, such as NSF, this is a requirement but for whichever agency you choose to pursue funding from, this is a crucial first step. Find out more:

Season 2, Episode 9 – Innovation!

Innovation is the basis of your small business development, whether that be a completely new idea or something that has never been commercialized. Tips from Todd is here to launch your innovation into SBIR funding!

Season 2, Episode 8 – SBIR Phase 1 Feasibility

Tips from Todd is back in the woods to tell you about feasibility for SBIR Phase 1, and overall product feasibility. Learn about some tips and tricks to determine feasibility (and finally learn what the feathers were for) in this episode. Contact CTC for help with a Project Pitch!

Season 2, Episode 7 – SBIR Eligibility

Todd is back to tell YOU about SBIR eligibility! Small Business Innovation Research grant applications have to meet certain criteria for acceptance! Find out what they are today!

Keep tuning in to find out more about SBIR (and to see what Todd is doing with the feathers?!):

Season 2, Episode 6 – NIH Review Process

Today Todd is here to walk you through the NIH review process to ensure you’re on the right track to receive NIH SBIR funding.

Season 2, Episode 5 – NSF: Project Pitch

Tips from Todd is back, with a brand new look, to help you get started on your NSF Stage 1 funding track. Find out more about their Project Pitch and how to prepare your innovation to apply for these federal funds!

Season 2, Episode 4 – NSF: I-Corps

NSF I-Corps was designed to help academics explore ideas they think could be commercialized, now that process is evolving to include Phase 1 companies, following the NIH’s lead. Find out more!

Join us June 18 for a virtual training event with DOD!

Season 2, Episode 3 – NSF Close of Quarter – When should you submit?

Do you know what makes NSF’s Submission process different from other SBIR funding programs? Find out in this episode of Tips from Todd! Todd walks you through the Close of Quarter process and why you should talk to your program officer to strategize your submission.

Season 2, Episode 2 – DOD Initial Process

Todd is here to help you get started with your DOD funding journey.
-Find out what the difference is between DOD SBIR contracts and other agency SBIR grants.
-See who you should contact and when.
Contact your Topic Manager by June 2!

Season 2, Episode 1 – How to Navigate a DOD Prerelease

After a ~long~ hiatus, Tips from Todd is back to help you navigate a DOD Topic Prerelease. These can seem overwhelming and technical but Todd helps simplify the process in Episode 11! Check it out to see if your innovation could be funded by DOD SBIR.

Episode 10 – SBIR Summary & SBIR Ready

Tune in for the Season Finale of Tips from Todd! Todd is sharing his final thoughts, so far, on the SBIR process and letting you know why YOU should for SBIR Ready for a significant advantage in writing your SBIR funding proposal!

Don’t forget to fill out your SBIR Ready Letter of Intent by May 8, 2020 at!

Episode 9 – Letters of Support

Tips from Todd’s “special guest” is here to tell you which Letters of Support you need when seeking SBIR funding for your innovation!

Episode 8, Part 2 – Principal Investigator

Tips from Todd is back to expand upon who qualifies as a Principal Investigator when your team is seeking SBIR funding for your innovation. Find out if your PI fulfills the requirements to apply!

Episode 8, Part 1 – Principal Investigator

Seeking a principal investigator to pursue funding for your innovation? Not sure if a member of your team qualifies? No Ph.D.s? Tips from Todd is here to share his expertise and dispel concerns about PIs so your innovation can get off the ground and apply for SBIR funding!

Don’t forget to fill out your SBIR Ready Letter of Interest by May 8, 2020!

Episode 7 – SBIR vs. STTR

Tips from Todd explains the key differences in SBIR and STTR to help you understand which is right for your innovative idea or small business.

Don’t forget to fill out your SBIR Ready Letter of Interest by May 8 at

Episode 6 – SBIR Milestones

What milestones have you achieved through innovation? SBIR needs to know! Let Tips from Todd help you clear a path to innovation by determining which milestones you want to highlight.

Episode 5 – Specific Aims for SBIR

Episode 5 of Tips from Todd is focused on making sure YOU are as specific as possible in your SBIR. Find out how to make sure you’re using proper terms to get noticed!

Want more guidance on creating a winning proposal? Visit the Writing Tips section of our Blog.

Episode 4, Part 2 – What is SBIR Innovation?

Evolutionary or Revolutionary? Chance of technical failure? What are federal funding agencies looking for? Find out in Tips from Todd Episode 4, Part 2!

Episode 4, Part 1 – What is SBIR Innovation?

Today Tips from Todd walks YOU through what funding agencies define as innovation. Find out if and how your idea fits and could be considered for an SBIR. See Part 2 for more specifics!

Episode 3, Part 2 – SBIR Significance Statements

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR AN SBIR: For Profit? ✅ Less than 500 employees? ✅ Owned by U.S. Citizens? ✅ YES – EXISTING BUSINESSES ARE ELIGIBLE FOR over $3.7B in federal funding. Tips from Todd will show you how to start with a good significance statement and let us PAY YOU to practice with your company’s new, innovative approach.

In Episode 3 Part 2, Todd is sharing his knowledge on the dos and don’ts of an SBIR significance statement.

Episode 3, Part 1 – SBIR Significance Statements

In Episode 3, Part 1, Todd talks you through the importance of a significance statement in your SBIR. Why?? The more significant problem you have, the more likely you are to be funded!

Episode 2 – Sample Ideas for SBIR

Now that you know “Why SBIR?” Todd is here to talk you through some sample ideas for SBIR to get started! (Check out the excellent illustrations too!)

Episode 1 – Why SBIR?

Our outdoor expert and grant writing guru kicks off this series by sharing why YOU should apply for SBIR with YOUR innovative idea!

CTC Sparks: The Innovator’s Series

Idella’s Ideas

Idella YambenCTC’s Lean Startup expert, will share her expertise and straightforward tips on Tuesdays and Thursdays as part of ongoing installments of Idella’s Ideas!
Find out Idella’s Ideas

Brian’s Board

Brian Walsh, CTC’s commercialization expert, will share his expertise and information about the ins and outs of commercialization on Tuesdays and Thursdays
What’s new on Brian’s Board?

Quick Chats

CTC is hosting weekly or bi-weekly “Quick Chats”, where experts from various agencies, organizations, and programs will share their experience with CTC.  These 20-30 min chats are a great way to get an introduction to new resources, funding, and programs.
Catch up on CTC Quick Chats