SBIR Phase 0 (2018 Pilot)

SBIR Phase 0 was a pilot program that helped teams hone their market fit, identify available resources and next steps, and apply for SBIR funding with Node support.

2018 Pilot Program

This pilot program is no longer active

In 2018, the UNY I-Corps Node recruited eight early-stage startup companies with deep-tech innovations to participate in the SBIR Phase 0 pilot program.

Phase 0 Teams received $200K in NSF funding, and honed their product-market fit through the I-Corps Teams program. After the program, they attended workshops to launch their businesses and received support in applying for SBIR Phase 1 grants.

View our 2018 Cohort
SBIR Phase 0 Teams


Teams have won SBIR Awards


SBIR funding


Total capital raised

How it worked

In 2018, SBIR Phase 0 helped teams who developed a deep technology innovation to participate in the I-Corps process to test its commercialization potential, and to receive follow-on workshops and support to launch a new business.  The desired outcome was to increase SBIR Phase 1 success rates and to increase the number, pace, and success rate of “deep technology” startups formed in Upstate New York and the Northeast.

SBIR Phase 0 teams received funding and support to participate in an intensive, seven-week I-Corps Teams national cohort, where they did a “deep dive” into Customer Discovery and determined if their technology was a “go” for commercialization. This was followed by ten weeks of specialized SBIR Phase 0 workshops that prepared teams to move from a “Go decision” into company formation and pursuing initial capital from the SBIR program and investors.

Each of the selected teams had access to $25,000 to support face-to-face customer engagement, including: travel to national cohort training, registration, and traditional customer discovery activities.

This pilot program is no longer active.