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The Small Business Innovation Research Program: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FAST TRACK INITIATIVE Annex C Case Study Template Description of the Firm History of firm: founding date, founder, founder’s background. Product or service: description of the firm’s main good or service. Technology: description of technology produced. Projected market size and major competitors. What is the firm’s competitive advantage? Reasons for location of the firm (e.g., labor pool, nearby research facilities or science parks, markets, access to capital). SBIR Project Information SBIR technology: description of technology for which SBIR award was given and technology’s origin. Number of SBIR awards won. What is the relationship to the agency mission?
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The Small Business Innovation Research Program: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FAST TRACK INITIATIVE Impact of SBIR SBIR & Firm Strategy Role of SBIR award in company strategy: How important was the award to the firm’s current position? What alternative sources of funding were considered and/or enhanced by the SBIR award? Do they anticipate applying for further SBIR awards? If the firm received earlier SBIR awards, how did these affect the current award? Was the SBIR and/or Fast Track award used as a marketing tool? That is, did the firm use the presence of the award as leverage to attract additional outside capital? Did the firm use the Fast Track policy —i.e., the opportunity for outside investors to obtain up to a 4:1 match on their investment—as leverage to attract outside capital? Commercialization Does a strategy exist for commercializing the product? For example, strategic alliances for production, such as a joint venture or licensing. If possible, please disclose names of firms. Has the SBIR-funded technology generated any patents? Is it expected to generate patents? Have any scientific papers resulted? 13a) How was the commercialization strategy affected by participation in SBIR? By participation in Fast Track? Has the firm sold a product resulting from the SBIR project? If not, when does it anticipate selling its first product? Does the firm have specific customers interested in the product? If so, who? Does the firm have anyone on its board of directors or in a management position that has built a successful company before and taken it public? Financing and external partners Does the SBIR awardee have external financing? If so, how much and will it identify the partner? Did the SBIR award play a role in the external partner’s decision to provide funding. Where is the partner located? How was the relationship with the partner developed? Did the SBIR award play a role in securing other external investment? Does the SBIR awardee have internal financing? If so, how much?
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The Small Business Innovation Research Program: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FAST TRACK INITIATIVE Other Impacts Has participation in the SBIR program generated other types of impacts, relationships, or opportunities? SBIR Program Administration Did the requirements of SBIR in general and Fast Track in particular prove helpful or onerous in terms of delay or impact on external funding? For standard SBIR awards, did the delay between Phase I and Phase II increase time to market for the firm’s product? Did the Fast Track award improve time to market for the firm or allow the firm to maintain continuity of effort? How could the SBIR and especially the Fast Track program be improved? How did the firm become aware of the SBIR program? Of the Fast Track element of SBIR? Did the firm experience difficulties in preparing the SBIR application? Perspectives of Third Party Investors (if relevant) How did the third-party investor become aware of the project being funded by SBIR? What prospects does the SBIR project hold for the third-party investor ’s organization? Did the SBIR award influence the third-party investor’s decision to invest in the project? Did the Fast Track policy (i.e., significantly higher chance of Phase II award for projects attracting outside investors) influence the decision by (a) enabling the third-party investor to leverage its investment in the company, (b) “certifying ” the promise of the technology (through a government review of and implicit approval of the technology)? Cross-Cutting Research Questions: Does the firm think that the DoD policy of giving a higher chance of Phase II award to companies that attract outside investors (per Fast
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The Small Business Innovation Research Program: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FAST TRACK INITIATIVE Track) is (a) a useful way of focusing the SBIR program on companies with strong commercialization capabilities; (b) good public policy?) What factors influence a firm’s decision to participate in Fast Track? What factors inhibit a firm’s participation in Fast Track? What benefits do firms expect to gain from a Fast Track award not available through the regular Phase II process? Does the Fast Track award affect the performance of firms? How (e.g., in terms of research capabilities or commercialization prospects)? What specific effects does the presence of a third-party investor have on performance? Are differential impacts of Fast Track observed by region, DoD funding agency, or firm characteristics? What do participating firms see as strengths and weaknesses of the Fast Track program?
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