SBIR Lesson from Santa

This time of year, Santa is making his list and checking it twice. That’s my kind of guy! I admit it: I’m a list person. If I don’t write it down, I’ll forget it. I live by checklists. Grocery lists, Christmas lists, To do lists, etc. As I complete something, I mark it off; that way, I KNOW I did it.

If you’ve read through an SBIR or STTR solicitation at least once, you will notice there is a lot of detail: things you should include in your proposal and things you should not, allowable costs and unallowable costs, not to mention what one agency wants over another one (like font size and page-limits). Trying to remember it all can be overwhelming and you STILL might miss something.

Some agencies have realized this, and they have started including checklists with their solicitations. Use them. Some agencies have them in supporting documents on their SBIR/STTR websites. Use them. Some don’t give you checklists, but I suggest you create one yourself: go through the solicitation, line-by-line and create a list of things to include in your proposal: from abstracts to budgets, to letters of support, to research agreements, etc. You don’t want to miss a tiny detail and then have your proposal thrown out.

Remember, before preparing your SBIR/STTR proposal: make a checklist and then check it twice (or three or even four times!) before actually submitting your proposal; Santa just might bring you a nice big award with a bright red bow!