Washington Technology Center (WTC) recently received a Federal and State Technology partnership Program (FAST) award from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to lead a statewide program that encourages commercialization of technology research and investment in entrepreneurial technology companies. FAST is a competitive program that allows winning states to receive funding for programs that promote awareness about government grant opportunities through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
Washington is one of 21 states to receive a 2004 FAST award. The $95,000 grant is part of a matching funds program that supports program development, community outreach and mentoring services for Washington technology companies. The funding also supports technology-based economic development efforts at the community level in smaller urban and rural areas where growth potential exists. Washington Technology Center is the statewide organization that manages the grant and administers the Washington-specific program called WaFAST. WTC also received a FAST award in 2001.
WTC’s strong track record of helping entrepreneurial technology companies secure state, federal and private funding was a prime factor in WTC winning the award this year. In 2004, WTC held 10 seminars around the state that helped Washington technology entrepreneurs connect with and prepare for federal R&D funding resources and private investment opportunities. WTC reached more than 400 businesses through these programs.
Washington companies win close to $43 million annually in SBIR awards. More than 30 percent of the companies that are first-time SBIR winners in the last year took advantage of WaFAST services, either by attending an educational seminar or through one-one-one mentoring. Washington companies received $2.7 million in SBIR funding last year as a result of WTC’s outreach efforts across the state.
The FAST award will provide funding for 2005 programs throughout the state, with specific focus on Seattle, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Bellingham and Vancouver. These areas offer the strongest potential for community-based technology growth and have the resources and support services necessary to support entrepreneurial company creation and development. Local partners for the WaFAST program in these communities include Columbia River Economic Development Council, Bellingham-Whatcom County Economic Development Council, WSU Tri-Cities Business Links and SIRTI.
Related WTC links:
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