The caliber of your team will affect proposal scores—in particular the principal investigator (PI), who should have technical expertise related to the solicitation topic, and your commercialization experience. This issue is the second most important topic in an agency’s proposal evaluation, as venture capitalist put great emphasis on who is driving the bus. As the U.S. Army, for example, uses the evaluation services of venture capital bankers to judge Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs with the best chance of commercialization success, it is important to keep venture capital requirements in mind when crafting a SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) proposal.
This client team review task will
- review the PIs credentials, publications, and previous commercialization successes in relation to your innovation and the agency’s solicitation topic
- provide an overview of your technology, products, and business model
- examine partnering needs (for example, with a prime contractor in the case of Department of Defense solicitation topics) to compensate for either the PI’s or other weaknesses
- justify the use of consultants
- demonstrate that you have all necessary laboratory equipment and computer simulation tools to support research and development work and indicate the source of any missing items and their availability for the program
- indicate that you possess program-management expertise and the financial documentation capabilities for project overview
The next step is developing the commercialization roadmap.