Vermont Launches Technology-Based Economic Development Program to Help Tech Startups Obtain Federal Innovation and Technology Grants

Source: Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Governor Phil Scott and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development announced the launch of the State’s first Technology-Based Economic Development program designed to catalyze growth in Vermont’s high tech business sector through increased access to targeted technical and research assistance. Coined as Elevate Vermont, the goal of the multi-faceted program is to help accelerate early-stage technology companies and help established small businesses remain relevant in a global market.

“Supporting businesses in every region of the state to retain and create jobs remains a top priority of my administration,” said Governor Scott. “This program will help our innovative employers grow and succeed in the global marketplace, while strengthening our communities here at home.”

H.439 (Act 74) appropriated $800,000 to the program in the 2021 legislative session. An extensive request for proposals (RFP) process has resulted in the selection of outside experts who can assist Vermont businesses in successfully applying for federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants. Every year, the federal government grants out over $3 billion to small businesses through the SBIR/STTR programs via a highly competitive application process.

Elevate Vermont will support companies seeking this non-dilutive funding through one-on-one SBIR/STTR application assistance from professional advisors at North Carolina-based Eva Garland Consulting, LLC. The application for this Technical Assistance is now open and accepting submissions on a rolling basis until funding is depleted.

“Vermont has never before had such opportunity to support startups and early-stage tech companies,” said Department of Economic Development Commissioner Joan Goldstein. “These investments present an enormous opportunity for the state’s growing tech sector.”

In the coming months, two additional applications will become available under the Elevate Vermont moniker to provide even more support for companies engaged with SBIR/STTR. Eligible participants may qualify for matching grants to accelerate the commercialization of their technology, offsetting costs such as sales and marketing expenses that cannot be supported with SBIR/STTR funds.

Elevate Vermont will also provide an Innovation Research Partnership Program to help small businesses strengthen connections with research institutions that can assist them in solving challenging product development issues.

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