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 $25.2 million in grant funding to 100+ deserving SBIR projects
- Helped winning companies raise additional capital of more than $2.5 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.
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.
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. (Please see the FAQ section of the website for information on what constitutes “meaningful commercial traction”)
For further details on these requirements, please visit the FAQ section of the START site. Eligibility rules may be changed by MassVentures in its sole discretion.
For information about the SBIR/STTR program, please go to this website.