Small biotechnology companies must dive into the world of fundraising to bring their concepts to reality. Following are some pathways available to Montana startups.
THE 4TH F FUND, MONTANA BIOSCIENCE CLUSTER INITIATIVE
While most obtainable funding is through state or federal grant programs and private capital companies, the objective of Montana’s 4th “F” Fund (4FF) is to provide direct assistance to Montana bioscience entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses in their early stages. (Startup founders often turn to the so-called “3Fs” of friends, family, and fools to raise initial money for the business, thus 4FF.) The fund provides grants of $250 to $5,000 and is open to all bioscience entrepreneurs in Montana, for-profit, nonprofit, and social entrepreneurship ideas.
MONTANA SBIR/STTR MATCHING FUNDS PROGRAM
This program provides Montana companies additional funding for technology development or other uses during the time the company is working on a Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) project with a federal agency.
The federal program offers funding competitions in two phases that are relevant to the Montana program: Phase I – to conduct feasibility research, and Phase II – to expand and develop Phase I results and develop commercially viable innovations. Grants of up to $30,000 per phase are available on a yearly basis.
THE WIDE WORLD OF FUNDING
An added benefit of our relationship with BIO is access to its outstanding articles. We are pleased to offer BIO’s recently released Guide: How to Approach Life Sciences Fundraising, an introductory course in fundraising geared toward biotech startups. The guide describes the many types of funding available, including government and non-government grants, incubators and accelerators, private investment, partnerships with large pharma, and debt financing.
FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES FROM NIA
The National Institute on Aging offers a variety of grants and other funding to support research and business development. Visit the Research and Funding page for an overview of NIA programs. You can also learn more at their webinar (Almost) Everything You Wanted to Know About NIA Funding But Were Afraid to Ask. Of particular interest to Montana enterprises is the Small Business Program where Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) opportunities are listed.
FAST 2022 MICROGRANTS FROM MTIP
The Montana Innovation Partnership (MTIP) powered by MSU TechLink Center will use some of its 2022 FAST funds to provide financial assistance to Montana small businesses that are actively preparing SBIR/STTR proposals in the federal fiscal year 2022. The costs to apply for an SBIR/STTR grant or contract can be considerable. Financial assistance for early-stage companies increases their participation in the SBIR program and the quality of their proposals. MTIP will award six FAST Microgrants to eligible SBIR/STTR applicants of up to $2,000 per year.