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Non-Dilutive Federal Funding for Novel Early Stage R&D Projects

Pat Dillon
Minnesota SBIR/STTR Accelerator, Founder and Director

Pat is a well-known SBIR/STTR industry expert having consulted with hundreds of startups and existing companies since 1994, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, with a strong focus consulting with firms competing and winning NIH SBIR/STTR funding. Pat has demonstrated in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience in the federal R&D process. She has provided one-on-one assistance on proposal development and commercialization plans for decades.  Pat has years of experience working directly with firms on the myriad of issues and questions faced by many startups interested in accessing SBIR/STTR funding.  Pat is a recognized SBIR/STTR leader in the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem including Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota, Technology Commercialization, in the early technology development and commercialization of technologies with strong commercial potential.  

Pat has spoken at national SBIR/STTR conferences, served as a commercialization plan reviewer for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the United States Department of Agriculture.  Pat is a 1999 Small Business Administration Tibbetts Awardee for excellence in the SBIR/STTR programs. Pat is a retired United States Navy Commander with 40 years of service, active and reserve, and a combat veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom (2011-2012), Kabul, Afghanistan.   

Pat is currently the Federal and State Technology Partnership Program director at the Minnesota Tech Association.  She has been a recipient of seven FAST grants from the Small Business Administration, both Minnesota, and Wisconsin.  


The annual $4 billion in federal, non-dilutive funding offered through the SBIR/STTR programs is often a critical milestone in moving an entrepreneur’s research idea from concept to commercial product/services. Small business (startups and existing) across the country engage with the programs to de-risk their innovations toward new products, services and/or processes. The Small Business Administration and the 11 federal agencies are committed to making sure innovators – particularly women and minorities are aware of the SBIR and STTR programs and gain a higher percentage of that funding moving forward.

The Minnesota SBIR/STTR Accelerator™ facilitates the commercialization of deep tech ideas, concepts and projects by leveraging federal research and development funding to small business in collaboration with government, industry, and academia.

SBIR/STTR funding is all about commercializing a novel product, service or process for domestic and international markets. There is no limit to the amount of funding or awards a small business can be awarded. The funding is awarded via a federal grant or contract, based on the agency.

Get started today to learn if your novel idea or project is a good fit with the programs. These programs are HIGHLY COMPETITIVE. Forming a research collaboration with other entities (academic, medical, federal laboratories, etc.) are highly encouraged.