Congress created the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program in 1982 with the mission to support scientific excellence and technological innovation using federal R&D funds and the goal that those projects will become commercial successes. For small companies that qualify, the three-phase system can be lucrative. For example, first stage or Phase I awards can deliver up to $150K for 6 months of project feasibility research.
A video recording of the October 29 conversation will be made available.
- Anusha Iyer | Co-Founder and CTO, Corsha
- Dr. Manny Oliver | Director, SBIR/STTR Programs Office, Department of Energy
- Riya Patel | Program Manager Government, Dcode
- Jason Rathje | Director, AFVentures AFWERX, U.S. Air Force
- Jen Sovada | Chief Futures Officer & SVP/GM, MissionTech Solutions | Board Member, Defense Entrepreneurs Forum
Anusha is a technology leader with over 15 years of experience in security-minded software, analytics, and managed services. Prior to Corsha, Anusha was the Director of Software Programs at Galois, Inc., managing DARPA contracts in the areas of privacy, cyber-mission planning, and software diversity. She started her career in the Washington, D.C area at the Naval Research Lab, where she contributed to programs in the realm of tactical edge networking, program analysis and reverse engineering.
Anusha earned her Master’s degree in Computer Science from SUNY Buffalo and an undergraduate degree from Carnegie Mellon University. She did her graduate work in formal models for insider threat assessment. Anusha is passionate about making security accessible, easy to adopt, even self-assuring.
Manny Oliver is the Director of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for the US Department of Energy, https://www.energy.gov/. Manny has reduced the time from application to start of R&D from 8 months to 4.5 months. He is focused on commercialization outcomes through revised application requirements, a revamped commercialization assistance program, and web-based tracking of outcomes. Manny is implementing a collaborative effort with technology transfer offices at National Labs and universities to leverage the SBIR/STTR programs to accelerate technology transfer.
Manny is an MIT graduate with a B.S. and a Ph.D. in Materials Science. Manny was also an Assistant Professor at MIT.
Riya Patel is Dcode's Government Program Manager. Riya
- Develops and manages relationships with key officials at various DoD and civilian agencies
- Develops new and exciting ways to work with government, startup technology companies, and system integrator partners to advance government missions.
- Leads curriculum sessions for both Dcode's tech and government community on innovative acquisitions, engaging with tech companies, and conducting deliberate market research.
Jason Rathje is the Director of AFVentures, AFWERX. AFWERX connects the US Air Force, https://www.airforce.com/, to innovators.
Jason is part of a team that implements novel initiatives to mature and transition "dual-use" technology ventures. Their approach is to (1) build relationships between commercial solution-providers and Air Force problem-owners and (2) scale successful problem-solution matches. They are successful if their initiatives accelerate product-market fit between the companies who are passionate about national security and Air Force users who need their revolutionary technologies.
Jason has researched the intersection of entrepreneurship, innovation, and national security in Stanford's Management Science & Engineering Department, specializing in technology entrepreneurship strategies. Specifically, Jason studied the effect of government partnerships, both as an investor and customer, on basic research through commercialization. This research heavily influenced my involvement in AF Ventures, as well sparked new research projects on how to expand the dual-use economy more intelligently.
Jason is an MIT graduate with a B.S. and an M.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering.
Forbes Top 50 AI in Government Influencer Colonel (Ret.) Jen Sovada is MissionTech Solutions Chief Futures Officer where she is responsible for bringing MissionTech's model for integrating new technologies and best practices into government. While at MissionTech, Jen developed MissionTech’s Promethean Process™, a proprietary five-step innovation framework that drives the success of our projects and clients. Prior to joining MissionTech, Jen served as an Intelligence Officer for over 25 years in the Air Force and held high-level positions across the Intelligence Community to include serving as the Chief of Talent Management for the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Cyber Effects Operations and as the Wing Commander of the Air Force Technical Applications Center.
Bring your best ideas, innovations and SBIR funding challenges and enjoy the conversation!
Back 2 Biz is a series of engaging and interactive conversations examining how tech, entrepreneurship and innovation can improve our lives and bring businesses back — stronger & safely. Sessions are live and free to register. On-demand access will be available to all registrants. Overflow live stream on the MITEFDC YouTube Channel.