panies, and one firm started by a professor-husband and entrepreneur-wife team. The case studies include two woman-owned companies, one of which is actively operated by a woman who is also a member of a minority group.
The sample includes companies that were able to commercialize a product very quickly and companies whose technologies are taking considerable time to commercialize. Commercialization strategies of these firms include licensing agreements, contract research, sales of product produced in-house, commercialization partnerships, as well as the sale of technology or the company itself to a larger company.
The companies’ annual revenues range from $2 million to about $24 million. This includes companies whose share of annual revenue contributed by the SBIR program and other government grants comprise as little as 4 percent and as much as 70 percent.
The ten companies selected for the case studies do not represent a random sample. The companies were selected to provide companies of different ages and size, pursuing different technologies, located in different parts of the country, with differing forms of ownership, and with some, although varying degrees of, commercial success. Some of the companies are university spin-offs; some are company spin-offs; some are neither. Some received many SBIR grants; some relatively few. Some continue to obtain a high percentage of their funding from government sources; others have reduced the percentage to low numbers. To illustrate different types of successful outcomes, six of the cases selected were identified by NSF as “stars.” In addition, all of these cases selected are revenue-earning SBIR-funded companies. The process for selecting the case studies is explained in detail in Appendix D.