Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)
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Innovator Support Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it true that I can go to an investor meeting for free if NIH selects my company?

Will NIH support attendance at a meeting that is not listed?

Is this a competitive program?

How are companies selected?

Do I get to choose which meeting to attend?

Should I apply if I am not currently raising money or looking to partner my technology?

If selected, will I be able to deliver a pitch presentation to an investor audience, or will I have a poster or kiosk location to meet with investors?

Does my CEO have to be available to attend the meeting? What if my company doesn’t have a CEO?

What will I get as part of NIH support if I am selected for an investor or partnering meeting?

This is my first experience with fundraising and partnership. Can NIH help me prepare?

I am an experienced/serial/successful entrepreneur. Will I still be required to work with NIH’s Innovator Support Team?

What is the benefit to NIH? What do I need to do in return?
 

Innovator Support Resources


  1. Is it true that I can go to an investor meeting for free if the NIH selects my company?

Not completely. NIH will pay for 2 registrations at certain investor and partnering events. Costs associated with travel, including lodging and living expenses, as well as the development of company materials, are the responsibility of the company.

  1. Will NIH support attendance at a meeting that is not listed?

NIH has agreements with specific organizations and will announce what events are being supported with each solicitation.  It is possible that your funding IC may support company attendance at additional events, please talk to your Program Officer to determine if this is possible.

  1. Is this a competitive program?

Yes. NIH has a limited number of company slots available for each event.

  1. How are companies selected?

Companies will be selected and matched to events by an NIH team of investment and industry experts in coordination with NIH Program Officials.

  1. Do I get to choose which meeting to attend?

No. Companies will be selected and matched to events by an NIH team of investment and industry experts in coordination with NIH Program Officials.

  1. Should I apply if I am not currently raising money or looking to partner my technology?

No. NIH’s purpose in supporting attendance at these events is to enable our companies to maximize their capability to form partnerships and raise the non-federal capital required to progress the development of their innovative technologies. NIH expects to maintain this program, therefore you will have additional opportunities to apply when your company is at the appropriate stage.

  1. If selected, will I be able to deliver a pitch presentation to an investor audience, or will I have a poster or kiosk location to meet with investors?

Events have different formats, some provide pitch presentation opportunities, some provide poster or kiosk locations, and others focus on 1:1 meetings.  The opportunities available will be described in each round of solicitation.

  1. Does my CEO have to be available to attend the meeting? What if my company doesn’t have a CEO?
    • If your company has a CEO, the CEO must be ready, willing, and able to attend the meeting if you are selected. The CEO is typically the point person for raising money from private investors. The second attendee may be the lead person for business development at your company, the COO, CBO, CSO/CTO, or another officer from the company.
    • If your company does not have a CEO, the executive leading business development functions should be identified and may attend
       
  2. What will I get as part of NIH support if I am selected for an investor or partnering meeting?
    • 2 paid registrations
    • Pre-conference support, including templates and materials developed for networking and discussions with investors and potential partners, review of your corporate strategy and pitch/presentation materials by our Innovator Support Team along with the information you should know to optimize your time at the event.
    • Depending on the meeting, the opportunity to network with and/or pitch to investors and industry business development professionals, company booth or kiosk, 1:1 meetings with access to conference partnering portal or app.
       
  3. This is my first experience with fundraising and partnership. Can NIH help me prepare?

Yes. The NIH has an Innovator Support Team experienced in helping both early and late-stage companies understand how to build businesses and talk with investors and strategic partners.  In addition, NIH has developed templates and materials specifically to support life science companies seeking investment and networking with investors and industry partners.

  1. I am an experienced/serial/successful entrepreneur. Will I still be required to work with NIH’s Innovator Support Team?

NIH does not require working with us, however, we do request that you copy your presentation materials and for you to complete a short survey within a specific timeframe after the event to help us refine our company showcase strategy. Many companies have found working with our Innovator Support Team to be very helpful. Team members know the type of investors and attendees to expect at each of the events, have relationships with various investors and partners beyond the organizations attending or hosting formal events. NIH’s Innovator Support Team also has access to business intelligence tools including Pitchbook and Global Data, to help you refine both the positioning of your technology and your targeted investor list.

  1. What is the benefit to NIH? What do I need to do in return?

NIH has developed these relationships to help you, our innovators, continue the development of your technologies once you exit our funding stream.  In return, we ask for a copy of your presentation materials and for you to complete a short survey within a specific timeframe after the event to help us refine our company showcase strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions about Entrepreneurs in Residence Support 

  1. What are Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) at NIH?

    NIH Entrepreneurs in Residence are highly experienced life sciences ventures and business executives who work 1:1 with select SBIR companies at a certain stage on preparation for private follow on financing and/or partnering objectives, among other things. NIH EIRs are currently Dr. Ethel Rubin and John Sullivan, who bring a combined 50 years of experience taking products through commercial launch and investing in next-gen therapies and technologies. Learn more about Ethel and John.

  2. What are the time commitments required to work with an EIR?

    Our EIRs are currently working 1:1 with company executives and the time commitment is all dependent on the company’s or executive’s needs. Requests for deal evaluation could take as little as a single phone call while preparing a company for pitching to investors starting from scratch may take 3-5 hours of time with an EIR besides for whatever time the Management team needs to gather material together and create the beginnings of a pitch deck or executive summary. All sessions with EIRs are held via phone conference, Webex, and email exchanges.

  3. Is there a cost for me to get assistance from an NIH EIR?

    No, this is a FREE resource for SBIR/STTR company CEOs and executives at a certain stage of development and grant status.

  4. Are there any terms and conditions if I am getting help from an NIH EIR?

    There are no strings attached when working with an EIR. The only expectation is that the CEO will respond to email or phone call requests for follow-up or feedback and inform the EIR ventures team of any of the many successes NIH hopes you have towards your fundraising, dealmaking, and commercial objectives!

Great Additional Resources for SBIR-STTR Companies