I have had several discussions recently with small businesses that are concerned with finding ways to fund their small business. Anyone that has started a business knows that certainly is one of the major concerns with starting a new business. But to someone new to this field, it can be a very frustrating exercise. Many people assume that the funding has to come from an independently wealthy founder. While this is certainly a way that some companies are founded but by no means is this the only way. This is part of what is affectionately known as one of the 4 F's for financing an early stage business (Founder, Friends, Family and Fools). Countless businesses are started with one or more of the 4 F's. Most of the time, this type of funding is only sufficient to get the firm started or only take the firm to a certain size. Relying on this type of financing will almost certainly limit the ultimate size of the organization.
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ReliAscent recently attended, exhibited and presented at the National SBIR/STTR conference in Portland, OR. One of the most valuable things for small businesses was the One-on-One sessions with SBIR Federal Agency Managers and the Speed Networking with the same individuals. For those of you that weren't able to attend, you should strongly consider attending this conference next year; just for this opportunity. You can discuss the agency needs, how it aligns with your capabilities, the specifics of how to best find partners and how to apply for these grants and awards.