July 22 2019
General,Research & Development

Capital Region Federal Venture Funding up 34% in 2018

The federal government awarded 34 percent more in seed funding to Capital Region startups and other small business in fiscal 2018, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of data on SBIR.gov.


Fifteen firms in the eight-county region received $17 million in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funds. That included 38 SBIR awards totaling $15.6 million and five STTR awards totaling $1.5 million. Whereas the SBIR program helps small businesses meet the federal government’s R&D needs, the STTR program advances technology transfer from research institutions to startups.

A quarter of the SBIR funds ($3.9 million) went toward proof-of-concept, or “Phase I,” research, and the remainder ($15.6 million) went to further development and pre-commercialization, or “Phase II,” research. Firms receiving SBIR grants included:

  • Actasys: $749,999
  • Dairy Veterinarians Group: $600,000
  • Ecolong: $149,996
  • Ecovative Design: 899,063
  • Free Form Fibers: $150,000
  • International Electronic Machines: $548,082
  • Kitware: $8,338,130
  • Lux Semiconductors: $224,949
  • Mohawk Innovative Technology: $1,449,331
  • Primacomp: $115,951
  • Selfarray: $740,027
  • Simmetrix: $1,148,691
  • Symbiotica: $150,000
  • Vascular Vision Pharmaceutical: $288,945

Firms receiving STTR grants included:

  • EnerMat Technologies: $225,000
  • Kitware: $528,038
  • Mohawk Innovative Technology: $248,515

Award Highlights

Among these awardees, Actasys, Ecolong, Ecovative, Free Form Fibers and EnerMat are firms that have received early and continuous support from CEG’s Business Growth Solutions (BGS) unit in the form of either venture pitch or startup coaching, lean training and other services.

Free Form Fibers, Saratoga Springs, received $150,000 in Phase I SBIR funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to research manufacturing processes for proposed alternative nuclear fuel materials from the gas phase.  

Lux Semiconductors, Albany, received its first SBIR grant for $224,949 in Phase I funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to “further the development of a patent pending technology aimed at producing flexible, lightweight, and low-cost semiconductor substrates.” 

EnerMat Technologies, Clifton Park, received its first STTR grant, totaling $225,000, for Phase I research for the advancement of improved lithium ion batteries through the use of  inexpensive hemp-derived carbon nanosheets and nanostructured manganese oxide anodes. 

Mohawk Innovative Technology, Albany, received $149,935 in Phase I SBIR funding from the U.S. Department of the Air Force to “demonstrate the feasibility of developing a high-speed, oil-free and novel 50 SHP recuperated turboshaft engine” for unmanned aerial vehicles.  

Selfarray, Troy, received $740,027 in Phase II SBIR funding from the NSF to research ways to speed up the LED placement process for large area, direct view displays, such as those used at sports stadiums, “by leveraging the parallel nature of directed self-assembly,” as opposed to “placing individual LEDs into a grid-array as it is done today.”  

Vascular Vision Pharmaceutical, Rensselaer, received $288,945 in Phase I SBIR funding from the National Institutes of Health “to evaluate the chemopreventive management of solar ultraviolet (UV) mediated DNA damage by two different Nanoformulation of epigallicatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).” 

CEG Technology Acceleration Solutions

As a regional technology center under the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, CEG’s Business Growth Solutions unit offers a menu of technology acceleration services for Capital Region startups and established firms, including:

  • Tech Scouting to search for solutions;
  • Technology Driven Market Intelligence to understand markets;
  • Engagement of NYSTAR Innovation Assets for testing and development;
  • Design and prototyping assistance;
  • Funding assistance via state and federal programs such as NYSERDA, SBIR, STTR and other funding opportunities;
  • Access to labs, office space, and other facilities affiliated with Innovate 518; and
  • Venture pitch coaching and opportunities via the VentureB Series.


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