Frequently Asked Questions
No, The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was established in 1953 as an independent agency of the Federal Government in order to help people get in business, stay in business and grow. The Small Business Development Center Program receives funding from the SBA to assist small business through no-cost business consulting and low-cost training.
To learn about the TriTech Small Business Development Center’s Services, please call 951-571-6480
All services that TriTech provides are FREE! TriTech is funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and various state and local community funds and our services are no charge to our clients.
To receive consulting services, please submit a needs assessment. The needs assessment can be accessed by clicking on the “Get Started” link on the homepage. After you submit a needs assessment, someone will contact you and let you know if you have been approved. Upon approval, a consultant is assigned and you will deal directly with the consultant regarding scheduling.
TriTech consultants are second to none. Many of our consultants have their own profitable consulting practice. Each consultant is screened extensively and has to have a qualifying background, active involvement in business and funding communities, and show the skills and abilities to move businesses towards profitability. If you would like to learn more about our consultants click here.
TriTech offers consulting in areas such as identifying capital resources, commercializing new technologies, marketing products and services, becoming investor ready, and SBIR/STTR assistance.
TriTech does not invest in or lend money to your company. Our assistance is educational in nature. We work with investors, banks and other lending agencies and organizations to develop guidelines that we provide to our clients on how best to secure funding.
TriTech cannot guarantee that your business will be funded by an investor. Less than one in ten start-up companies are funded by angel investors each year. TriTech will make considerable efforts to help you prepare your business to appeal to investors but more importantly to help your business grow even if that means doing it without investors.
There are 5 types of equity investors. Friends & Family, Angel investors; Venture Capitalist; Corporate Venture Capitalist; and Private Equity Funds. It is very important to know how much capital you need, when seeking investment. Also please note that if you want to keep full ownership equity capital is not for you.
TriTech does not write business plans for clients, but we do offer valuable assistance in helping entrepreneurs write their own business plans. Our consultants will review, critique and advise you on how to improve a business plan draft. Our goal is not to do the work for the entrepreneur, but to provide critical guidance that will help individuals grow their business.
Prepare your business plan and familiarize yourself with the SBA’s business loan programs. There are several programs including the 7(a) Loan Program, the Certified Development Company or 504 Loan Program, the MicroLoan Program and the Small Business Investment Program. You can find out more about these programs from the SBA.
TriTech works with high technology and/or rapid growth companies which have a very high impact on their local economies. The ideal TriTech client is a company that is high technology, scalable and has the ability to rapidly grow within 3 to 5 years. TriTech will work with companies who range from early stage start-up to mid market level that are ready to take their business to the level: additional TriTech will work with businesses would need triage plans.
All of TriTech services are no cost to clients. Because TriTech offers these services free of charge, we are required to collect economic impact data from our clients. Simply put, if a TriTech consultant helps your company increase sales, obtain equity financing or create new jobs, we would like to report that impact.
The federal small business innovation research program (SBIR) and small business technology transfer (STTR) program offer small businesses an opportunity to secure much needed and hard to find funding to conduct research on behalf of the government. The SBIR Program is a highly competitive three-phase award system designed to allow small businesses to serve as the prime contractors (SBIR) or subcontractors (STTR) in meeting the federal government’s research needs. There are 11 federal agencies that offer SBIR awards and some 4 or 5 agencies that also have an STTR program.
- Phase I is a feasibility study to evaluate the scientific and technical merit of an idea. The awards and time lengths vary by agency but Phase I’s can be awarded for periods of up to six (6) months in amounts up to $100,000.
- Phase II is to expand on the results of and further pursue the development of Phase I. Again awards vary by agency but range from periods of up to two (2) years in amounts up to $500,000.
- Phase III is for the commercialization of the results of Phase II and requires the use of private sector or non-SBIR federal funding.
No, this is a government contract or grant. Your firm will have to meet the federal agency’s requirements to complete the proposed work in a timely and efficient manner. It is research so there is no required payback for the funding as it is either a research grant or contract.
The agencies have been allowed autonomy in developing programs that meet their agency’s needs, either funding small businesses under a contract with specific product development requirements and potential sales back to the agency or as a research grant.
Each agency participating in the SBIR program sets its own maximum award amount. Smaller agencies make fewer awards and have smaller grants or contracts. A typical Phase I feasibility study is six months to conduct the research and the funding levels can range from $70,000 to $125,000. Some of the larger agencies actually include an Option Task for continuing the research during the break in funding between Phase I and Phase II. Phase II research is generally 2 years of contract or grant work and funded at anywhere from $100,000 to $750,000 depending upon the agency and the individual topic.