Fourth, venture-funded firms were somewhat more likely to file for patent protection for the intellectual property developed with support from the NIH SBIR program.

Fifth, a comparison of firm-level outcomes using Hoover’s Small Business Database indicated that firm revenues for venture-funded firms were considerably higher—an average of $9.3 million annually as against $1 million for non-venture-funded firms. Venture-funded firms had a much higher concentration of firms generating at least $10 million in annual revenues.

In short, while SBIR projects at venture-funded firms do not reach the market as often as those without venture investment, other indicators suggest that, over time, venture-funded firms do commercialize more effectively than non-venture-funded firms. It appears likely that firms with SBIR projects that receive venture funding typically pursue riskier technologies and therefore these projects fail more often. When they do reach the market, they tend to generate higher value.

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