NSF SBIR/STTR IPart Project Pitch Assistance

Posted 11/23/20

If you are interested in applying for funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), they changed their process (Spring 2019) to include a required first step – The Project Pitch.  The goal of the Project Pitch is to get startups and small businesses (formed and unformed) quick feedback, and to save them time and effort, when applying for Phase I funding form America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF – The NSF’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) & Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs.

Rather than spending days to prepare a full proposal and waiting up to one month to obtain the required registrations, startups or entrepreneurs who submit a three-page Project Pitch, will know within three weeks if the they meet the program’s minimum requirements.  They will also get additional guidance and feedback from NSF staff.

If your Project Pitch is a good fit for the program, you will receive an official invitation from the NSF to submit a full proposal, if you’re not invited to submit, you’ll be told why your project is not appropriate for the program.  NSF hopes this new process provides submitters with timely, useful feedback and saves your small business time and effort.

More details about the NSF’s new process and eligibility requirements can be found at the NSF program website.

The Innovation Partnership (IPart) – Pennsylvania’s statewide SBIR/STTR assistance program, would like to ensure you are submitting a reasonable and well-prepared Project Pitch to the NSF!

To that end – IPart has developed an annotated NSF Pitch Document Template for you to complete and receive feedback on, prior to your submission via the NSF’s Online Pitch Submission Portal We encourage you to use the portal for your submission, as it will ensure conformance with NSF’s demanded structure for the Pitch, as it does not afford free-form fonting, formatting or the inclusion of charts, graphs, diagrams, citations and footnotes.   Please ask you IPart sponsoring organizational contact for this NSF Annotated Pitch Template or contact the IPart Director, Kelly S. Wylam  (717) 948-4318.

When provided with this template, please complete it and return it to your IPart member (In WORD Format – NOT PDF.  Remove all comment annotations.  PLEASE do NOT Number or Bullet information, or include charts, graphs, footnotes, etc.  The ONLINE FORM IS TXT ONLY![You will need to click on the comment bubbles in the margin of the document to FULLY DISPLAY annotated guidance – if not visible upon opening the document!]), promptly, as the sooner we are able to assist you in refining it and provide you with feedback for changes/improvements, the sooner you are able to submit it via the NSF website for their 3-week, feedback, turn-around.

As with ALL SBIR/STTR proposal preparations, the more time allotted for feedback and other assistance, the better!

***IMPORTANT NOTE: On March 25, 2020, the NSF Issued a ‘Dear Colleague’ Letter with instructions for NSF applicants interested in submitting COVID-19 – related innovation project proposals.  THIS ‘Dear Colleague Letter’ & COVID-19 Priority topic process has now been RETIRED!  Please refer to the following link to read more about this: