National tour stop in Kansas will engage small businesses


The U.S. Small Business Administration’s National SBIR Road Tour is coming to Kansas City, Kansas Tuesday, May 21, 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.

The Kansas stop is hosted by Wichita State University Strategic Initiatives, a catalyst for technology-based innovations. Program managers from the participating federal agencies will 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.

Small technology firms, innovators, scientists and researchers seeking more information on the SBIR Road Tour, including a schedule of stops and participating agencies, can visit

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

In 2018 alone, 22 Kansas businesses received a total of more than $6 million for projects with agencies such as the National Science Foundation, NASA and Departments of Defense, Agriculture, Health and Energy.

The SBIR Road Tour plays an important role in increasing engagement with entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country and building out greater networks to support the creation of small businesses focusing on high-impact research. 

“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.” 

Learn more about SBIR / STTR programs

The mission of Wichita State University is to be an essential educational, cultural and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good. Wichita State is a doctoral research university enrolling nearly 15,000 students and offering 59 undergraduate degree programs in more than 150 areas of study in seven undergraduate colleges. The Graduate School offers 45 master's and 12 doctoral degrees that offer study in more than 100 areas. Wichita State's Innovation Campus is an interconnected community of partnership buildings, laboratories and mixed-use areas where students, faculty, staff, entrepreneurs and businesses have access to the university's vast resources and technology. For more information, follow us on Twitter at and Facebook at