SBIR Targeted Technologies ("START") Program

MA-based companies that have received SBIR/STTR phase II funding are eligible to apply for this grant program.

Through the MassVentures’ START program we have been able to take creative ideas and bring them through to commercialization. We are very thankful to MassVentures for this funding, recognition, and the expertise they have provided to help scale our technology during the past three years.

Mark Smithers

CTO of Boston Engineering

MassVentures has been with us from the start, arming us with the capital, experience, mentoring and network to help our transition to a high-growth company. The START program is critical for SBIR-funded companies that need this type of support to move from a research-driven company to commercialization.

Reshma Shetty

Co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks

2021 Winners

Click here to see 2021 Awardees.

About the program

The SBIR Targeted Technologies (START) program helps growing Massachusetts-based companies convert research developed under SBIR and STTR contracts into businesses and jobs in Massachusetts. The START program plays an important role in powering Massachusetts’ Innovation Economy. Since the program’s founding in 2012, START has:

  • Provided $28.2 million in grant funding to 100+ deserving SBIR projects
  • Helped winning companies raise additional capital of more than $3.5 billion
  • Catalyzed employment of over 2500 people in Massachusetts
  • Grown the state’s Innovation Economy by supporting companies in Barnstable, Canton, Charlton, Chelmsford, Georgetown, Littleton, Newburyport, Newton, Wakefield, Westford, Wilbraham and Woburn
  • Created an ecosystem of 200+ unique companies, reviewers, service providers and advisors to create the next generation of companies to drive Massachusetts’ economy

All START awards are contingent on state funding.  The state has fully funded the program each year since its inception in 2012.

Funding Cycle

The application period opens on February 1. Phase I applications are accepted through the end of the month. Awards are given out in the spring. Check back on February 1, 2022 for application materials.

How it works

The MassVentures START program was initiated in 2012 to assist Massachusetts-based companies in commercializing technologies developed under SBIR and STTR contracts.

Each year, the program awards:

  • Ten (10) “Stage I” grants of $100,000 each,
  • Five (5) “Stage II” grants of $200,000 each to the most promising “Stage I” winners from last year and
  • Two (2) “Stage III” opportunities: up to $500,000 each of seed capital in a commercial spinout (or other commercial arrangement intended to provide a return on investment to MassVentures) from the most successful Stage II companies.

A new crop of Stage I candidates every year perpetuates the cycle.

Eligibility

Massachusetts companies that have received a Phase II SBIR or STTR award are eligible to apply for a Stage I START grant provided the Phase II SBIR/STTR was received within the past four years or alternatively, the company has gained either (i) “meaningful commercial traction” for the technology within the past four years or (ii) the technology otherwise remains commercially viable today.

For information about the SBIR/STTR program, please go to this website.

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