Sometimes the idea is the easy part. And for scientists and technologists it’s just the beginning of a very long road.
For 2018 Swim with the Sharks winner Sumedh Surwade of SAS Nanotechnologies it began with PhD research which led to a proprietary, patent pending anticorrosive coating technology that not only prevents corrosion but also heals and protects metals from corrosion in the cause of surface scratches or damage. Next came an NSF SBIR grant for further development, and conversations with potential strategic partners for technology testing and licensing. Today, Dr. Surwade is evaluating additional applications and routes to market, including manufacturing in Delaware. That’s the short version.
You would think it ends once the technology is developed, proven and accepted. Not quite. Then comes the day to day blocking and tackling of running a business which requires just as critical a foundation. Fortunately, the EEC and its partners are here to help. Having won the EEC’s Swim with the Sharks Pitch Competition, Dr. Surwade will be receiving a New Castle County Government NCC Innovates $10,000 award that he will be using to purchase vital testing equipment. This equipment will speed up product commercialization by reducing the time (and associated cost) of testing from 10 days to 3 hours. And last week, Dr. Surwade met with Rich Roux of Info Solutions, LLC and Sharron Cirillo of SC Associates, SWTS sponsors, and both of whom donated services to the winning company. Info Solutions, LLC have discussed what Dr. Surwade’s IT needs will look like as he seeks to scale SAS Nanotechnologies, and SC Associates will be working with him to ensure that the financial processes he has in place can adapt and grow as his business grows. As for the Emerging Enterprise Center…. Dr. Surwade is all set to hold his first Advisory Board meeting at his new Riverfront Conference Room!
FedEx is conducting a small business grant contest. The contest offers grants to 10 small businesses, with a collective prize pool of $100,000. One Grand Prize winner of $25,000, one $15,000 winner, and eight $7,500 prizes will be awarded. The 2016 FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is open to U.S.-based for-profit small businesses that have less than 50 employees and have been operating for six months or more. To enter, participants must visit www.fedex.com/grantcontestand enter their contact information, write a short profile about their business and upload four photos of their business or product, including their logo. While not required, participants also have the option of submitting a 60-second “elevator speech” video to supplement their entry.
The contest entry period is open from May 3 to May 30, 2016, with voting to take place from May 17 to June 13, 2016. Following a judging period, winners will be announced on July 11, 2016 at www.fedex.com/grantcontest.
Private grants for women and Small-Business Entrepreneurs
Grants for women entrepreneurs and Small-Business Entrepreneurs:
The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program: Five grants are awarded annually. The businesses must be 100 percent women-owned and have founding principles of social consciousness, sustainability and innovation, plus be ready to move to the next phase of development. In 2014, the program awarded $125,000 in grants.
Huggies Brand — Mom Inspired Grants: The grant awards up to $15,000 to advance the development of innovative products inspired by the joys of motherhood. The awardees also receive resources to further develop their products and startup businesses.
FedEx Think Bigger — Small Business Grant Program: Applicants are encouraged to share their visions to receive a portion of the $75,000 awarded in grants. Part of the judging involves the general public voting for the finalists, so participants may promote their businesses while garnering votes.
Chase Google — Mission Main Street Project: Chase and Google have partnered to award $3 million in grants. In 2014, recipients were awarded $150,000 to help take their businesses to the next level. Recipients also received a trip to Google headquarters, a Google Chromebook laptop and a $2,000 coupon toward a market research study with Google Consumer Surveys.
Small Business Innovation Research(SBIR): Eleven different federal agencies participate in this awards-based program, which incentivizes and enables small businesses to explore their technological potential.