SBIR Proposal Lab

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Apply to Be a Part of the SBIR Proposal Lab!

  • Do you have an innovative business idea?
  • Do you need funding to help launch or grow your Maryland small business?
  • Want a program with an emphasis on woman-owned, disadvantaged, and rural businesses?
  • Want to increase your chances of winning Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding?
  • How about budget-friendly proposal training that leads to a submitted proposal?

If so, you are in the right place.

Team TEDCO has opened application process to select up to 30 companies to participate in the SBIR Proposal Lab for Fall/Winter 2018 DOD and NOAA SBIR solicitations. The Proposal Lab runs from November 21, 2018 until February 9, 2019Application process is competitive. Fill out the form below on this web page. If you qualify, you will receive an invitation to a virtual interview. Apply now so that you are one of the first companies to be considered for this unique and highly subsidized opportunity.

Webinar Recording: Find out if you qualify for the SBIR Proposal Lab

Read the article about the SBIR Proposal Lab in

What is the SBIR Proposal Lab?

The SBIR Proposal Lab combines information from SBIR tutorials, best-in-industry proposal training, mentoring, proposal reviews, and hands-on guidance throughout the process of developing and submitting NOAA and DOD proposals.

SBIR Proposal Lab is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

A cohort of as many as 30 companies will participate in the SBIR Proposal Lab from the SBIR pre-release, solicitation issuance,and through proposal submission. Team TEDCO will conduct a series of workshops simultaneously from two locations (Rockville, MD and Salisbury, MD). Participants will receive support between sessions via a series of portals. The SBIR Proposal Lab will culminate in the cohort’s proposal submissions. Subsequent advisory services will be available for awardees and those that want feedback on how to improve their next proposal submission.

The SBIR Proposal Lab’s goal is to at least double the winrate of Phase I SBIR applications (from 16% national average to 32%).

The ultimate goal is to improve proposal quality, submissions, and win rate while building long-term capacity to win government and commercial bids.  Emphasis will be on participation by women-owned, disadvantaged, and rural small businesses.

The SBIR Proposal Lab is timed for the NOAA release in late October 2018 and DOD release in late November 2018 (Phase I proposals), with submissions due in late January and early February 2019, respectively. All activities start on November 21, 2018 after the final application deadline on November 20, 2018, and end after the submission in mid-February 2019.

To increase Lab participants’ win probability, Team TEDCO will include information captured through research and meetings with SBIR program managers focusing on what’s important to them, what wins, and what are the most effective preparation steps for the Lab participants.

Team TEDCO’s SBIR Proposal Lab will help participants develop NOAA and DOD SBIR proposals through a series of hands-on workshops and training.

The instructor to participant ratio of 1:5 will ensure individual attention. Two 4-hour proposal reviews (Pink Team, Red Team) will have 2 reviewers assigned per proposal. One will review your proposal for compliance and persuasiveness, and another will examine your proposal’s technical viability.

What Are the Topics of Each SBIR Proposal Lab Workshop?

Here are the topics and events timed to fit each set of “next steps” necessary to complete your SBIR proposals.

Workshop Topics

Workshop 1: Overview, Proposal Process, and Brainstorming

  1. Overview of the program
  2. How to win an SBIR solicitation
  3. Matching of the ideas to the topics
  4. Brainstorming and mind-mapping on presenting ideas and talking to the government TPOCs
  5. Developing a value proposition
  6. Foundations of the spiral development proposal process and the tight schedule
  7. Importance of making the deadlines
  8. Review expectations
  9. Time management
  10. Just-in-time training on proposal portals
  11. Expected deliverables for next week
  12. Initial development of deliverables.

Workshop 2: Outline, Compliance, Brainstorming

  1. Discuss pre-developed outlines
  2. Compliance and brainstorming on section content
  3. How to win in each SBIR section
  4. Section planning
  5. The correct writing process
  6. Foundations of writing faster and better
  7. Good and bad proposal language specific to NOAA and DOD SBIRs
  8. Training on databases available for research at TEDCO’s Market Research Kiosks.

Pink Team Review

Pink Team is a feedback mechanism on participant’s performance and proposal quality to date. The standard for Pink Team is that the proposal draft is 60% customer-ready and is compliant.

Workshop 3: Cost Proposal and Graphics

  1. Cost proposal development
  2. Proposal graphics and visuals development appropriate for the SBIR submission format
  3. Graphics templates
  4. Conceptualization and graphics rendering skills.

Red Team Review

Red Team review provides feedback to participants on proposal quality. The standard is that the proposal is 90% customer-ready; within 10% of the page count; compliant and compelling.

Workshop 4: Editing and Production

  1. Proposal editing and desktop publishing in MS Word
  2. Self-editing and editing automation
  3. Introduction to Read-Aloud review process for a polished submission.

Workshop 5 (One for NOAA and another one for DOD): Proposal Preparation for Submission and Submission

  1. Final preparation for submission
  2. Hitting the “submit” button; 3. Follow-on actions.

Our full-day proposal training labs will combine just-in-time training with hands-on work.

How Much Does It Cost to Participate in the SBIR Proposal Lab?

Due to winning of the SBA FAST grant, funding from TEDCO, and in-kind contributions from TEDCO, GovCon Incubator, and ESEC; the SBIR Proposal Lab is able to significantly offset the cost of the SBIR Proposal Lab while providing participants proposal development skills that will have applicability way beyond the SBIR program.

Participation in the SBIR Proposal Lab is valued at $5,000 per participant. However, participants will pay only $500 if they are accepted into the program. Upon completing all the milestones on time and submitting a timely proposal, you will be reimbursed $150.

The total cost to you will only be $350 after the reimbursement.

This is a worthwhile investment for a greater potential to win Phase I awards that are typically between $100,000 to $150,000, that will help you advance your innovative idea into reality. By winning Phase I, you will position yourself for Phase II that has much higher funding, and a potential for the government agency to issue a contract to you.

Who Is Eligible to Participate in the SBIR Proposal Lab?

Any small business in Maryland is eligible to apply to participate in the SBIR Proposal Lab, provided you have not won an SBIR award in the past.

However, during the applicant selection process, we will give first preference to women-owned, disadvantaged, and rural businesses – provided they have viable ideas that fit the SBIR solicitations. We will allocate the remainder of spaces to other Maryland small businesses. If all spaces are filled, we will maintain a waiting list.

Note that participants must commit to participate in 100 percent of all the SBIR Proposal Lab activities to be eligible to apply. If a previously accepted member cannot continue in the SBIR Proposal Lab, we will offer participation to someone on the waiting list.

Access for People with Disabilities

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance prior to the start of the SBIR Proposal Lab. Contact


The small business definition for the SBIR program is one which, including its affiliates, has a number of employees not exceeding 500.

SBA’s Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) definition is a company at least 51% owned and controlled by a female U.S. citizen.

SBA’s Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) definition is a small business that is at least 51 percent owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged. SBA’s identified socially disadvantaged groups include: African Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Subcontinent Asian Americans. Economically disadvantaged individuals are defined as those for whom impaired access to financial opportunities has hampered the ability to compete in the free enterprise system, in contrast to people in similar businesses who are not identified as socially disadvantaged.

Rural Maryland Small Business is a small business located in Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset, Worcester, Cecil, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne’s, N. Baltimore, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, Garrett, Carroll, Charles, Calvert, or St. Mary’s County.