ASBTDC Role in Arkansas Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization

Since I came to the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center in 2009, I’ve had the privilege of working with a number of talented researchers to start and grow their businesses.

Earlier this year, I helped a client explore federal funding opportunities for an innovation, gather preliminary agency feedback that indicated interest in the project and provided her with tools to draft a competitive grant proposal. She shared several draft versions of her proposal and budget with me before submitting it to the funding agency. This proposal was later selected for award and helped this company start on the path to preparing the technology for commercialization.

The ASBTDC has been serving businesses statewide for over 35 years. Client businesses range from restaurants and retail stores to biotechnology and specialty engineering companies.

Entrepreneurs and established small businesses come to our seven locations around the state for assistance with business creation, expansion and growth, and technology commercialization. Our consultants provide confidential consulting services at no charge throughout the full process of helping current or prospective business owners meet their specific goals.

We help many of our clients obtain funding to start or advance their companies. Every client’s need is different, so funding projects range from small microloans to million-dollar contracts and multi-million dollar loans. Over the past five years, 75 percent of ASBTDC client funding has been in the form of traditional bank loans.

Services for Innovators

My focus is on helping research-based companies explore federal funding opportunities through the competitive Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer program.

With about $2.5 billion available each year, the SBIR/STTR program constitutes the largest source of funding for new research and product development for small business. This funding takes the form of grants or contracts and doesn’t require winning companies to give up any ownership or repay the government.

SBIR/STTR was established to help innovative small companies and their partners bring new and needed innovations to the market. The SBIR/STTR program is an ideal way to grow new high-tech, high-wage jobs and provide innovative solutions to nationwide challenges.

Through the ASBTDC, innovative Arkansas entrepreneurs and small businesses obtain no-cost assistance with exploring and responding to federal funding opportunities that align with their own ideas and research.

Many of my clients are brand new to SBIR/STTR, and they quickly find through online research that many steps are required before proposal writing even starts!

I work with them to streamline the process, which includes sifting through research topics, registering their companies to do business with the federal government, and drafting project summaries to share with federal agencies.

Once agency contacts verify that project ideas are strong candidates for SBIR/STTR funding, I draw from my “toolbox” of resources to guide clients through the process of preparing competitive proposal applications.

An important step is the tailored market research and analysis ASBTDC performs. Our proprietary industry databases contain current information that details the competitive landscape and trends within potential market applications.

ASBTDC market research is also an effective tool for clients seeking state commercialization funding, licensing agreements, or private investors. Through a combination of consulting and market research services, the ASBTDC assists with the applications, presentations and licensing strategies required to engage alternate sources of technology commercialization funding.

Call on Us!

Our centers are located on seven university campuses around the state. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your local ASBTDC to learn more and begin engaging our services. You can find us online at I can be reached at or 501.683.7700.

Rebecca Norman