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WaFAST program offers mentoring and online resources for small business product development

Seattle's February 28 program features panel of four leading companies

For Immediate Release: February 13, 2002


Seattle - The Washington State Federal and State Technology Partnership Program (WaFAST) helps Washington state small businesses and entrepreneurs compete for federal financing of technology research and product development. Ten major federal agencies are required to award almost $1.2 billion annually for research and development for small businesses under the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

WaFAST has launched a comprehensive Web site that provides all the information small businesses need to apply for and win this type of funding. The site includes:

-- Getting Started: SBIR/STTR information, basic steps and contacts.
-- Conferences: national, state and regional mentoring groups.
-- Proposal Writing: how to begin, sample proposals, counseling & writing assistance, and proposal reviews.
-- Commercialization: innovation assessments, "eye-of-the-investor" programs and business plan feedback.

Regional mentoring groups are being facilitated in Seattle, Spokane, the Tri-Cities, and Vancouver, allowing companies to network with past SBIR/STTR winners as well as others interested in this opportunity.

Washington Technology Center (WTC) is sponsoring the Seattle area's first mentoring group on Thursday, February 28, 2002. Representatives from four local companies will share their experiences, the challenges they have faced, and how they have successfully leveraged the award within their companies. Speakers include Dennis Lowenthal, vice president of research & development, Aculight Corporation; Andrew Kamholz, senior scientist, MesoSystems; Doug Hansmann, vice president of research & development, EKOS Corporation; and Tom Clary, president and COE, The Clary Company International. Combined, these companies have won over $20 million in federal SBIR and STTR awards.

WaFAST is sponsoring a Pacific Northwest regional conference in Spokane May 1–2, 2002.

WaFAST is a consortium providing direct assistance to anyone interested in SBIR/STTR funding—as well as commercialization assistance to companies competing for more traditional financing.

Consortium participants include:

-- Columbia River Economic Development Council
-- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Office of Economic Development
-- Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute
-- Washington Office of Trade and Economic Development
-- Washington Small Business Development Center
-- Washington State University Tri-Cities Business Links
-- Washington Technology Center

The WAFAST program is a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Cooperative Agreement partially funded by the SBA. SBA's funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions, or services. All SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminiatory basis.

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