FARGO — The U.S. Small Business Administration’s National SBIR Road Tour is coming to the Fargodome Friday, May 24, as part of a 16-stop tour to connect entrepreneurs working on advanced technology to the country’s largest source of early stage funding – the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. Also known as America’s Seed Fund, the SBIR/STTR programs focus on next generation research and development and is led by the SBA with 11 participating federal agencies.

“Every year, we meet entrepreneurs from around the country looking to turn their big idea into another great American innovation story. We are committed to supporting America’s small businesses owners wherever they are,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said. “This tour reflects our continued commitment to ensuring that these innovators are aware of SBA’s resources to help them reach that goal.”

The Fargo stop will be hosted by North Dakota State University's Research and Technology Park, Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, University of North Dakota Center for Innovation, North Dakota Small Business Development Center, NDSU Research Foundation, and local organizations involved in supporting entrepreneurs in next generation research and development.

Sen. Kevin Cramer will kick off the event with opening remarks at 8 a.m. Program managers from the participating federal agencies will then conduct one-on-one meetings with small businesses, take part in targeted panels, discuss technology areas, and share insights into how the agencies make funding decisions.

The SBIR/STTR programs provide over $3 billion in early stage funding to small businesses each year in a wide variety of technology areas such as unmanned systems, advanced materials, health, cybersecurity and defense. The SBIR/STTR programs execute over 5,000 new awards annually, which allow innovators to advance new technologies and have contributed to the creation of thousands of jobs.

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The deadline to register is Thursday, May 23. To learn more, visit www.sbirroadtour.com.