Launch Tennessee Relaunches Phase 0/00 Program

Monday, November 25, 2013

Launch Tennessee on Monday announced the re-launch of a program to help Tennessee’s entrepreneurs obtain grant funding to facilitate bringing new technology to market. The Phase 0/00 Program is a competitive process to help small businesses apply for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant or contract funding. The program is funded in part by a FAST (Federal and State Technology) grant obtained by the Small Business Administration.

“Commercializing research is a great way to increase the number of high-growth startups in our state. The Phase 0/00 Program helps small businesses apply for and win grants that can help them turn their innovative work into a commercial success,” said Launch Tennessee CEO Charlie Brock.

SBIR and STTR are separate federal initiatives that provide research and development funding to qualified small businesses in order to stimulate innovation and development in high technology areas. Awards are based on small business qualifications, degree of innovation, technical merit and future market potential.

The Phase 0/00 Program helps applicants that are eligible for Phase I or II of the SBIR/STTR. Companies in Phase I can use grant funding to determine the commercial feasibility of their technology. Phase I awards normally do not exceed $150,000 total costs for six months. Phase II grants continue the R&D efforts of Phase I and normally do not exceed $1 million total costs for two years.

Launch Tennessee’s Phase 0 program pays for expert support services for Phase I proposals and Phase 00 provides the same support for Phase II or Fast Track proposals.  

“Our Phase 0/00 Program has already helped two companies win SBIR/STTR grants, and we’re working with several promising applicants now,” said Jim Stefansic, director of commercialization. “Our goal is to help Tennessee companies win these awards at a rate twice as high as the national average and to make sure Phase I winners become Phase II winners.”

Launch Tennessee is using Grow Emerging Companies, LLC, (GrowEC) to screen, select and support potential applicants for the Phase 0/00 Program. Mark Henry, a nationally known SBIR/STTR expert and consultant, and his team will provide this service based on their experience with approximately 2,000 SBIR/STTR proposals.

Deadlines for SBIR and STTR NIH grant submissions are April 5, Aug. 5 and Dec. 5. Other agencies have various dates throughout the year for both grant and contract solicitations.  For more information about the Phase 0/00 Program and to apply, please visit

Launch Tennessee is a public-private partnership focused on supporting the development of high-growth companies in the state of Tennessee with the ultimate goal of fostering job creation and economic growth. Launch Tennessee focuses on four key areas: entrepreneurship, commercialization, capital and outreach. Launch Tennessee is in part funded by a grant from the State of Tennessee. 

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