Deep Tech Startups in Need of Funding Should Consider Federal Grants

Deep Tech Startups in Need of Funding Should Consider Federal Grants

CoCoPIE was founded by a group of researchers to address the chip scarcity challenge. We are a group of working to power next-generation technologies without the need for billion-dollar hardware that takes years to create. We needed the means to make our concept a reality. The financing game might be difficult to play for deep tech businesses. The VC sector is drawn to deep tech because of the low-investment/high-returns model it provides, but it may be impatient with the time it takes to get there. 

According to PitchBook, the venture capital market is also leaning toward megadeals ($100 million+), which do not usually apply to early-stage companies with a few people. While we approved into the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) program and received funding from one of the VC world’s glitterati, Sequoia Capital, we realized our answer was far more important than a chip that would end up on the reject line.

Here is why we filed for a government grant and why “America’s Seed Fund” should be part of any deep tech fundraising strategy. There are a number of SBIR/STTR projects available. The National Science Foundation is the driving force behind ours. These awards are very competitive, and if awarded, they may help your firm create and improve its technological image in the market.

Chosen among thousands of U.S. candidates indicates that your idea has great technical and commercial appeal, as well as the potential for widespread economic impact in the United States. A stamp invites other potential investors to raise their hands as well. Even if you are not chosen, the comment from the screening committee is helpful. When you get money, you usually have to give something back. If you have taken out a loan, this may be interest payments or equity if you have gotten VC financing. The SBIR/STTR programs allow you to keep full ownership of your business and intellectual property. 

The administrators are not interested in driving strategy; instead, they believe in your vision and want to assist you in realizing it. “Invest in a better future for our shareholders: the American public,” they say. The goal of CoCoPIE is to make real-time AI available for off-the-shelf mobile devices. 

It has the potential to greatly change the way we consume, learn, and interact with our gadgets if it is adopted by the semiconductor, digital media, and IoT businesses. However, like with every sophisticated tech firm, the key is how to get it broadly used. We are using SBIR/STTR monies to turn our technology into a minimum viable product, which is a necessary step in reaching a larger client base. 

Our technology has so far attracted a number of important pilot clients, including Tencent, a worldwide gaming behemoth that uses our super-resolution technology to improve its consumers’ gaming experiences. The SBIR/STTR program is divided into three phases, each of which moves your product closer to commercialization. A total of $2 million in investment is available to each business. What you do not get in terms of finance in Phase III, you make up for in terms of the actual business, which is usually done through government procurement contracts.