Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center receives $125,000 grant to provide services for high-tech entrepreneurs - Newswise

Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center receives $125,000 grant to provide services for high-tech entrepreneurs - Newswise

Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center receives $125,000 grant to provide services for high-tech entrepreneurs - Newswise

Posted: 30 Sep 2020 02:10 PM PDT

Newswise — The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has received a $125,000 grant to assist companies pursuing federal Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) grants and contracts.

The U.S. Small Business Administration awarded the competitive funding for specialized training, mentoring, and technical assistance for R&D-focused small businesses under the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program administered by the SBA's Office of Innovation and Technology.

"The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center is pleased to be one of 24 recipients of SBA's FAST grant," said Laura Fine, state director of ASBTDC. "The SBIR/STTR program stimulates high-tech innovation and is a tremendous resource for Arkansas's innovative entrepreneurs. We are eager to help more Arkansans, including women, minorities, and rural entrepreneurs, compete and win SBIR and STTR awards."

FAST seeks to improve outcomes in SBIR/STTR programs for underserved communities by increasing participation from women-owned, rural-based, and socially economically disadvantaged small businesses. This year's recipients include state and local economic development entities, Small Business Technology Development Centers, Women's Business Centers, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, incubators, accelerators, colleges, and universities. All entities will provide support to small businesses developing high-risk technologies.

"Our FAST partners address the unique needs of next-generation, high-tech small businesses. The program supports innovative entrepreneurs from underserved communities by helping them start and grow—a primary mission for SBA," said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. "Programs like FAST are more critical than ever as the SBA is laser-focused on helping small businesses recover and once again propel the national economy forward. The SBIR and STTR funding can be the early seed capital to jumpstart companies today and make them successful in the future. Some of our nation's leading technology firms got their start with SBIR funding, and FAST is helping expand those opportunities to other entrepreneurs."

ASBTDC will assist university-based researchers and small tech-based companies that have not traditionally participated in SBIR/STTR programs. To encourage participation by women-owned companies, ASBTDC will offer "accelHERate" TED-style events focused on women entrepreneurs as well as general education programming on SBIR/STTR through introductory and agency-specific webinars.

ASBTDC will provide one-on-one mentoring for those who are exploring the SBIR/STTR programs or are preparing to submit proposals. Additionally, the grant will fund a multi-week accelerator program for companies that have never received SBIR/STTR funding.

The accelerator program will have two separate cohorts. The spring cohort will focus on the National Institutes of Health. In the summer, the second cohort will be for those interested in researching new technologies that advance the U.S. Department of Agriculture's mission.

"I'm looking forward to leading our second statewide Lab2Launch Accelerator for new or previously unsuccessful Phase I SBIR/STTR applicants," said Rebecca Todd, ASBTDC innovation specialist.

USDA is new to the accelerator program this year. "Through its SBIR program, USDA seeks to fund innovations that address any element of its broad mission to support rural America and agricultural production, increase access to safe and nutritious food, and preserve natural resources. Accelerator participants can expect to learn from one another in a small-group setting as they prepare competitive applications with ASBTDC guidance," Todd said.

National Small Business Week to Kick Off Sept. 22-24 - ACA International

Posted: 11 Sep 2020 12:00 AM PDT

National Small Business Week to Kick Off Sept. 22-24

The U.S. Small Business Administration will kick off the virtual National Small Business Week Sept. 22-24.

National Small Business Week honors the nation's small businesses, many of which are veteran, women and minority-owned, for their achievements and dedication to their communities, according to a news release from the SBA.

ACA International has regularly recognized the importance of small business week by noting that small companies are valuable contributors to the economy as they stimulate employment, growth and innovation within a range of communities.

"Small businesses are the backbone of this country and ACA International is proud to continue to represent a growing number of high-caliber, entrepreneurial firms that contribute to our robust economy," ACA International CEO Mark Neeb said referring to the association's recent white paper titled, Small Businesses in the Collection Industry in 2019.

ACA members include the smallest of businesses that operate within a limited geographic range of a single state, and the largest of publicly held, multinational corporations that operate in every state. The majority of ACA-member debt collection companies, however, are small businesses with nearly 85%  maintaining fewer than 49 employees.

This year's National Small Business Week activities will include numerous educational panels providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as our nation's small businesses look to pivot and recover toward a stronger economy. The event will recognize the national award winners, including the naming of this year's National Small Business Person of the Year.

"I am thrilled to host SBA's virtual National Small Business Week ceremony and provide this opportunity to recognize inspiring entrepreneurs from across the country for their innovation, and in many cases this year, resilience," SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said in the news release. "This year, we will spotlight America's outstanding small businesses and their stories of perseverance and their ability to pivot and overcome adversity.  This event will also feature many educational forums that will inspire entrepreneurs around the country as they recover and sustain their operations."

National Small Business Week will also recognize small business advocates for their involvement in disaster recovery, government contracting, and their support for small businesses and entrepreneurship.  Awards will be presented to SBA partners in financial and entrepreneurial development, including top SCORE Chapter, Small Business Development Center, Women's Business Center, and Veterans Business Outreach Center.

Events during National Small Business Week include:

Tuesday, Sept. 22: "Pride in America's Small Businesses"

National Small Business Week Welcome from SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and National Small Business Week awards presentations.

Wednesday, Sept. 23, "Preparing for a Stronger Tomorrow: Recovery, Adaptation, and Innovation"

Panel Discussion Series - America's Strength, Learning to Pivot and Innovate
Mid-day Sessions - SBA's Veteran Resources and Veteran Success Story Videos

Thursday, Sept. 24, "Preparing for a Stronger Tomorrow: Recovery, Adaptation, and Innovation"

Panel Discussion Series - America's Strength, Learning to Pivot and Innovate
Mid-day Sessions - The Business Landscape of Today and Federal and Local Resources to Empower Small Businesses

For registration and additional information on National Small Business Week, visit

For more information on how the ACA Licensing staff can assist with your licensing needs, please contact us at  or call (952) 926-6547.


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