40 Mistakes (updated)!
1. Read the Solicitation.
2. Follow the Instructions in the Solicitation.
4. Create a really detailed research plan/ technical work plan (and if the solicitation says 5 pages, make it 5 pages!) This is what the agency is paying for.
6. Demonstrate your ability to take a product to market (either through revenue or through past successful commercialization efforts).
8. One Program Director put it this way – the NSF Phase I award rate is about 10%, but if you are 1) clear about the Innovation and 2) clear about the market, you are ahead of about 60% of the proposals!
9. Make sure you have GOOD (concrete) letters of support that lend credibility to the team and/or to your concept. If you are like many PI’s and you write them “as a starting point”, MAKE THEM UNIQUE (and don’t assume your contacts will customize very far, many will sign and send back). It becomes very obvious if they are all the same.
10. Ask for the maximum amount that is permitted (to the penny!). If it is $150k max, ask for $150k, if it is $225k, then ask for $225k. Leftover money doesn’t help the Program Director.
21. If you have a university or other sub-awardee partner, NEVER give them the maximum allowable amount (i.e.50% in an NSF Phase II) – instead offer them 5% or 10% less than the maximum to give your company some flexibility. Why? Because a University can always fill up whatever budget you offer them! And they’ll get the work done in a smaller amount as well.
24.Don’t assume that your Phase II reviewers have your Phase I proposal, they usually cannot see it and only a few of the reviewers may have been a reviewer on the your Phase I proposal. Pretend you are starting from scratch with every reviewer.
28. Don’t ever make a Program Director say “The PI is not coachable”! Can you say Death Knell?
We share the full list of Forty with members of our VentureWrench SBIR Community. Fill in the form below to Get the Full List of Forty ways to improve your SBIR proposal!
Our mission at VentureWrench is to help you achieve your entrepreneurial dreams. Our curated library of the best resources to help entrepreneurs, VentureWrench.com, is live. Sign up now for your free account!
Members of the community will receive email updates, links to useful resources, entrepreneurship highlights, opportunities for training and other information to help your success!