March 2, 2018

SBA to scout Elm City innovators on national road tour

Linda McMahon, Small Business Administration Administrator

The Small Business Administration is coming to New Haven in August as part of an 18-city tour aimed at helping entrepreneurs obtain federal funding to transform their ideas into marketable products.

The stop will be the first in the Elm City since the annual tour started four years ago, SBA spokeswoman Tiffani S. Clements said. The event will be Tuesday, Aug. 21, according to the tour website.

"We are dedicated to supporting America's entrepreneurs wherever they are," said SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, a longtime Greenwich resident. "American innovation is not restricted by geographic or cultural boundaries. This tour reflects our commitment to ensuring that these innovators are aware of the resources that can help them turn a big idea into another great American innovation story."

The daylong event will connect innovators with representatives of 11 federal agencies that award grants and contracts through the SBA's Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, Clements said. Officials will give attendees tips on applying for $2.5 billion in early stage funding available through the programs.

The agencies are looking for innovative products useful to them and industries they serve and with the potential to create jobs, SBA said. Technologies backed by the program in the past include unmanned systems and advanced materials as well as products related to health, cybersecurity and defense, the agency said. The programs typically make more than 4,000 awards a year, Clements said.

"If you have an innovative idea that you want to see commercialized, this is an opportunity to learn how to get it developed and sold in the marketplace," Clements said.

The awards include up to $150,000 over about six months to research the technical merits and feasibility of an idea and up to $1 million for as long as two years to further an idea deemed viable and determine its commercial potential, Clements said.

Interested participants should preregister with the event's local host, Connecticut Innovations. Other tour stops include Providence, R.I., Pittsburgh, Pa. and Baton Rouge, La.

Christopher Hoffman can be reached at

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