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Funding your SBIR/STTR award upfront—and anytime after

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Loans and Lines of Credit

to $10MM

Advanced rates

No Personal Guarantees

What is SBIR/STTR Grant?

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)  is the U.S. government’s primary mechanism for engaging small technology businesses in research and development (R&D) that benefits our nation. Cutting-edge, quick-growth businesses like yours are awarded SBIR STTR award funding to accelerate the development and launch of your exceptional technology.


However, as is the case with many standard government contracts, it could be months before the government actually funds your SBIR/STTR award. Waiting for payment can leave you scrambling to secure the working capital you need upfront to launch the project or to continue development in Phase II of your award cycle.

LEONID is the only firm providing SBIR & STTR award financing. As scientists and engineers who have worked extensively on government projects, we understand the unique financial challenges they can present to entrepreneurs.

Our Solutions

Our SBIR/STTR financing team can establish Term Loans and Revolving Lines of Credit for our clients, with no minimums and up to $10M. (Have other non-SBIR contracts?  See our Contract Loan and RLOC pages)

All of our award financing services include:

Financing Options up to
$10 Million
No Personal Guarantees

Best-in-class financing terms

We typically offer 75% advance rates (loan-to-contract value) and ultra-competitive monthly rates for our SBIR/STTR financing programs.

Upfront Pricing

We prefer to build long-term, trusting relationships with our clients.  We will never quote you a price and then try to slip in a raft of miscellaneous “program access”, “origination”, or “unused line” fees.  What you see is what you get.

Non-dilutive funding

We never ask for warrants or an equity stake in your company.  As with our Government Contract Financing and Government Contract Lines of Credit services you retain full ownership and control of your business.

Efficient process with zero commitment

We fund your award(s) within 10 business days (typically less). We can finance multiple SBIR awards all at once, or you can return later for additional funding. There is no re-application process required.

Funding anytime, even before work begins

We can fund your SBIR award right at the outset, before any work begins. You get the working capital you need to make new hires, purchase equipment, and cover related upfront costs to launch your project immediately.

No Personal Guarantees, No prepayment penalties

We will never ask for a Personal Guarantee and won’t ask you for any long term commitments. Pay off your loan in full anytime, without the worry of penalties or additional fees of any kind.

What Are The Benefits of the SBIR/STTR Program

If you are a Start-Up or Small Business, the SBIR/STTR Grant program is a great source of funding for early-stage enterprises in the United States. Securing SBIR or STTR Grant has several advantages, including:

  • Funding is consistent and predictable, and it is not a loan.
  • Capital has a non-dilutive effect.
  • Intellectual property rights are retained by small businesses.
  • Early-stage enterprises benefit from the SBIRs rigorous peer-review process, which gives them acknowledgment, validation, and visibility.
  • The award’s prestige can help it acquire more financing or support (e.g., venture capital, strategic partner).

In addition to these advantages, new SBIR and STTR program amendments have broadened eligibility. The following are some of the most significant changes:

Size Restrictions: Participating Agencies can choose to spend 25% of SBIR money on SBIR STTR funds that can be awarded to small businesses that are majority-owned by several venture capital firms, hedge funds, or private equity firms as long as they do not have more than 500 individual employees, including its affiliates.

Awards for cross-program or cross-agency collaboration: SBIR Phase II awards are available to STTR Phase I awardees, and vice versa. A Phase I awardee may also be eligible for a Phase II grant from a separate agency.

Direct to Phase II: A small firm that did not win a Phase I SBIR award for the necessary research and/or development might apply for Phase II SBIR funding from the NIH, DoD, and Department of Education . Small firms can apply for a “Direct-to-Phase II” SBIR grant if they have already completed Phase I research with other sources of support.

SBIR STTR Participating Agencies

There are multiple agencies that are part of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. Startup and Small Business can thrive by working with these agencies to accomplish their mission and goals.

  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): Awards competitive grants to qualified startups and small businesses to promote high-quality research on important scientific problems with opportunities in agriculture which will result in significant public benefits.
  • The Department of Commerce (DoC) This department is accountable for fostering economic growth and opportunity. Its responsibilities include obtaining economic and demographic data for corporate and government decision-making, as well as assisting in the development of industry standards. Its main goal is to create jobs, promote economic growth, promote sustainable advancement, and prevent other nations from engaging in detrimental trade practices.
  • The Department of Defense (DOD): Is assigned to coordinate and supervise all state agencies and functions that are related to federal security and the United States Armed Forces. Having approximately 1.4 million active-duty service members, the Department of Defense is the world’s largest employer (soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen, and Guardians)
  • The Department of Education (ED): Their main obligations include “creating policies for, administering, and organizing most national education support, collecting data on US colleges, and enforcing national educational constitutions protecting the privacy and publicity rights. ED doesn’t establish Schools as well as colleges.
  • The Department of Energy (DOE): Their only concern is the energy systems and handling security of nuclear equipment. Its tasks include the nation’s nuclear weapons program, conservation of energy, generation of domestic fuel, energy-related study, etc. It also oversees genomics research; the Human Genome Project was born out of a DOE project.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): This is a United States government executive branch at the cabinet level. Protecting and providing major human services to all Americans is their mission. They improve America’s fitness, protection, and health. Before the establishment of a separate federal ED, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was its official name -HEW
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS): This department is in charge of public safety, roughly analogous to other nations’ interior or home ministries. Anti-terrorism, border security, immigration and customs, cyber security, and disaster prevention and management are among its claimed tasks.
  • The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT Ir DOT): In the United States, DOT is a federal Cabinet department that is responsible for transportation. The Department of Transportation Act 2 of Congress was formed on October 15, 1966, and it began operations on April 1, 1967. DOT is led by the Secretary of Transportation.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):These are independent executive agencies concerned with environmental protection. After Nixon signed an executive order, it went into effect on December 2, 1970.  Michael S. Regan is the current administrator. Although the Environmental Protection Agency is not a Cabinet department, the administrator is usually granted a cabinet position.
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): is a governmental establishment committed to the civilian space program, aeronautics, and space study in the United States. Since its inception, NASA has been in charge of the majority of US space exploration endeavors, including the Apollo Moon landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle.
  • National Science Foundation (NSF): The National Science Foundation (NSF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to basic research and education in all non-medical fields of science and engineering. The National Institutes of Health is its medical counterpart. The NSF funds nearly a quarter of all fundamental research conducted by organizations and institutions in the United States. The NSF is a key source of federal budgets  in various subjects, such as mathematics, computer science, etc.

To learn more about the SBIR STTR Program, visit our SBIR STTR blog.

We believe our relationship with LEONID Finance will help us to expand our operations and move quickly within a dynamic supply chain environment.

This agreement will ultimately help us bring a life-saving product to market more quickly, making our customers’ operations safer.

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Caleb Carr
Founder and CEO, Vita