SBIR Targeted Technologies ("START") Grants

START 2024 is now closed. 

The application window will open again February 1, 2025.


The SBIR Targeted Technologies (START) Grants help Massachusetts-based startups convert research developed under SBIR and STTR contracts into businesses and jobs in Massachusetts. 

START offers MA-based, SBIR Phase II companies grants and business guidance to help them commercialize their technologies. Each year, the program awards:

  • 10 “Stage I” grants of $100,000 each;
  • 5 “Stage II” grants of $200,000 each to the most promising “Stage I” winners from the previous year and;
  • 2 “Stage III” opportunities: up to $500,000 each of seed capital in a commercial spinout from the most successful "Stage II" companies.

More than a Decade of Success

Since 2012, MassVentures' START Program has granted $37.2 million to 125 companies that have gone on to raise more than $5.1 billion and employ more than 3,200 people in the Commonwealth.

Read some of their stories below.

2024 Award Winners

ActivSignal (Natick) has a multiplex-protein platform for cancer detection that is patented, high-performing, and low-cost, and with which it is developing a screen for early-stage pancreatic cancer.

Advanced Silicon Group (Lowell) is developing a novel silicon photodetector based biosensor for the improved detection and measurement of proteins.

BioSens8 (Cambridge) is engineering novel wearables to prevent chronic disease and extend healthspan.

Bloomer Tech (Boston) is tailoring cardiovascular care for women using a wearable bra and generating novel digital biomarkers.

Electrified Thermal Solutions (Medford) is commercializing the Joule Hive™ thermal battery that converts and stores intermittent renewable electricity into constant, high-temperature, industrial-grade heat.

Emvolon (Woburn) is commercializing a platform technology that converts greenhouse gas emissions into carbon-negative fuels and chemicals today.

EnVision Endoscopy (Waltham) has developed a novel endoscopic suturing platform and endosurgical instrumentation for tissue approximation and management of large gastrointestinal defects.

Eyebot (Boston) is a deep-tech company operating at the forefront of innovation in the vision care industry, developing a comprehensive suite of self-serve, rapid vision exam technologies that deliver reliable results in a matter of seconds.

Gel4Med (Lowell) has developed antimicrobial, self-assembling biomimetic matrices to promote infection-free wound closure.

Guardion (Burlington) is making novel 2D material-based sensors which enable lightweight, field-deployable analytical tools like portable mass spectrometers, revolutionizing field diagnostics and monitoring.

Notch (Cambridge) develops novel antennas using radio-frequency metamaterials.

Ortholevo (Boston & Lynnfield) is developing first-in-class joint injection therapeutics for treating stiff, contracted joints, to restore full range of motion and mobility.

Osmoses (Cambridge) designs molecular filters with exceptional size selectivity for chemical separation to unlock a low-carbon future.

PhagePro, P.B.C. (Mansfield) is an early-stage biotech startup developing solutions for antibiotic resistance in emerging markets.

Theromics (West Bridgewater) has developed an injectable nanogel that moves energy more effectively in human tissue with wide-ranging applications in cancer ablation, women’s health conditions and targeted drug delivery.

Transcend Air Corporation (Carlisle) demonstrated that their aircraft can rescue downed Air Force pilots eight times faster than the helicopters now being used.

Versatope (Lowell) uses a nano-vesicle technology for vaccines and targets therapeutics to specific cells.


Award Winner Stories


Aclarity (South Hadley)

Aclarity has developed a proprietary electrochemical treatment system that cost-effectively destroys contaminants in water. It is the first company to commercialize a system for destroying "forever chemicals" or PFAS, ubiquitous water pollutants that have been linked to hormone disruption, cancer and other health issues. Aclarity's innovation addresses a $30 billion+ problem, eliminating PFAS wastewater management and disposal while improving human health. The company raised a Seed Round in 2022 for field deployment with Burnt Island Ventures, DCVC, and MassVentures.


Jaxon (Boston)

This startup is developing breakthrough machine learning technology that speeds up the human-machine collaboration process. Its ‘coding optional’ platform allows analysts, domain experts, and data scientists to collaborate on training models, aligning requirements, and iteratively validating model performance. With rapid prototyping as a core focus, users train custom AI models and quickly iterate to find the winners. Jaxon itself uses AI to automate bottlenecks around data prep and model training. With “just enough” human supervision, auto-labeling, and configurable AutoML, models go from hypothesis to production-ready in days vs. months. 


KSE (Sunderland)

This family-owned, award-winning business has successfully developed and licensed novel “green” polymerization technology enabling the replacement of harmful chemicals, like benzene and phthalate-based plasticizers, in consumer products. KSE's proprietary biomass-to-chemicals process, based on furan chemistry, avoids expensive feedstocks and complex fermentation/solvent recovery processes. Polymers made from its furan-based chemicals demonstrate superior properties with fewer environmental and health impacts. With regulatory and consumer pressures growing to eliminate harmful chemicals, KSE’s biobased chemicals could have many potential markets. The START grant enabled KSE to purchase a reactor and hire some staff so that it can move from the bench to pilot scale.


Mesodyne (Somerville)

Mesodyne's goal is to put a power plant in the palm of your hand. The startup is commercializing a new class of power generator that provides efficient, quiet, reliable, long-endurance power from any fuel. The LightCell™ increases the endurance of small systems ten times more than batteries, resulting in increased capability and cost savings. Its applications include a variety of unmanned vehicles, wearables, and other equipment.


Phoenix Tailings (Woburn)

This startup is changing the world by rethinking metals production. Each year the mining industry discards over 200 billion tons of waste (tailings), producing more than 7% of the world’s carbon emissions. Phoenix Tailings is on a mission to be the world’s first clean mining and metals production company. The company is changing how these metals are produced by extracting valuable metals and rare earth elements from mining waste. Their process uses clean energy sources and produces zero waste, creating a cleaner supply chain.


Kytopen (Cambridge)

A spin-out from MIT Professor Cullen Buie’s laboratory, Kytopen is accelerating the delivery of gene transfers to existing cells by leveraging the influence of electrical fields on outer cellular envelopes. Kytopen’s research and technology has yielded the development of a system that simplifies the process of injecting nucleic acid into cells using ex vivo engineering. The procedure, known as Flowfect™, uses continuous fluid flow, electric fields, and automation to make gene transfer faster and more efficient. Kytopen has now raised $30 million in Series A funding.

Learn More About Past Winners

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