[Hidden-tech] SBIR

Jim Ussailis ussailis at equinox.shaysnet.com
Sun Oct 16 17:46:57 EDT 2005

Two years ago we had a Phase I.

>From that I can tell you several things:

1. Probability of a win is worse than fair. I think it is now less than 
17%. But living in Massachusetts appears to be a big help. The largest 
share of SBIRs are won in MA and CA.

2. You won't get rich on a Phase I. ALWAYS call the Technical Point of 
Contact (TPOC)before the cutoff date and ask " Is the phase II effort 
a FUNDED effort." I didn't specifically ask in that manner. "Funded" is 
a key word here. You want to be able to bid on Phase II, if it ain't 
funded you ain't gonna be invited to bid.

Since you will hardly break even on Phase I, the goal is to get a Phase 
II. No Phase II funding means you can't get there. Then you need to 
question why you are doing the whole thing in the first place.

3. PLan to spend 3 weeks writing the Phase I proposal. That's from start 
to finish. Keep it as short as possible, and follow every rule to the 
letter. Miss one rule, and it is thrown out. No exceptions.

Keep your effort short also. The Gov't expects to pay and will throw out 
anything that promises too much.

4. You can submit an idea which may appear in the next round of SBIR 
solicitations. You just need to talk to someone in the right agency who is 
interested in the subject. I had one in a sol back in 1988 that way.

5. $$ matters:

Charge $60/hr for engineers. Unless you have records to the contrary, add 
80% overhead. Charge for consultants, supplies, etc. Add some OH to this. 
Then add a "FEE" to the sum of everything. Max fee accecptable is about 

Make damn sure the bottom line is under what the agency allows, NOT what 
the SBIR program allows. For those few agencies that allow $100K for a 
Phase I, do not exceed 99K. I have been told that the 100K amount sets 
off another set of "guidelines," that the TPOC might not want to mess 

Finally, think about this: If the "hit" rate is one in six, and it takes 
three weeks to write a prop, then, on average, you will have spent 18 
weeks to get something less than 26 weeks worth of work. That's why an 
80% OH rate is accecptable.

If you (or anyone else) has questions, give me a call at 413-586-5111. I 
am glad to tell you what I know.

Jim Ussailis

jim at nationalwireless.com

PS There is a gal in Swampscott, MA that gives a course on all this. I 
also found the semi-annual SBIR meeting useful, and a good value.

 Then On Fri, 14 Oct 2005, Mark Bucciarelli wrote:

>    ** Be a Good Dobee and help the group
>    ** Fill out the survey/skills inventory in the member's area.
>    ** Remember you must be counted to post .
> Is there anyone on this list that has experience with the SBIR process?
> If you are that person, and you do not mind sharing your experiences, I 
> would appreciate it if you contact me.  Thanks!
> Regards,
> m
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