New Blog Entries 
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NEW BLOG ENTRIES

In terms of writing a proposal that has a higher chance of funding, there is not a whole lot of new substantive information that I can add to this Blog. Please read through the entries and you will find a lot of useful info, I think.

In 2009, I helped obtain over $10 million in funding. I am on track to surpass that figure for 2010.

I accept about 10% of potential clients. The other 90% have good ideas, but they will almost certainly not receive SBIR funding, based on my assessment. Because they have little to no chance of success, I do not take them on as clients. Most have come to me after working with other consultants. If they had called me first, they could have saved considerable time and money.

There is no charge for a free consultation to vet your SBIR ideas. 203-980-3905.



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Techniques in Writing V 
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IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF WRITING A PROPOSAL V

One of the key factors in getting your proposal funded is selling your idea to the reviewers. So, how do you sell your idea? There are many techniques for doing this.

It is important that the reviewers think to themselves “Hey, this is a great idea!”

You cannot tell a reviewer that you have a great idea. You must show them. Here is how to show them that you have a great idea.

Write in a simple high level manner, keeping things on a 10th grade reading level. Use short simple words wherever possible. Use short sentences. This allows the reader to focus entirely on your ideas.

Clearly tell the significance of your product to the reader. The significance is in what benefits your product will bring to the user. What will you provide that no other product can provide? Do not be abstract. Give a solid example of the benefits that your product will bring that no other products can bring.

Next, design your experiments to prove the feasibility that your product can bring about those benefits. Keep the approach focused on this and this alone. Leave out all non-critical sets of experiments. Give detailed feasibility criteria. Make sure that the criteria clearly support the idea that your product will indeed bring about the claimed benefits.

This technique gives you the highest probability that the reviewer will get excited about your product and be confident that you will indeed succeed.

For more specific and additional information on this topic, click on this link: High Level SBIR/STTR Grant Writing Techniques.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or go to SBIR-STTRgrantshelp.com.



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Techniques in Writing IV 
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IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF WRITING A PROPOSAL IV

One of the key factors in getting your proposal funded is selling your idea to the reviewers. So, how do you sell your idea? There are many techniques for doing this.

Sometimes, often in fact, there will be weaknesses in the position behind your proposal. This is a risk factor that is supposed to be there. It is one of the reasons for the SBIR program: to support early risky projects that would not be able to attract venture/angel funding due to the high risk.

NSF encourages this type of proposal and the reviewers at NSF approach risk in this spirit as well.

The NIH is different. The NIH is risk averse. Most reviewers are so used to the no risk RO1 review style that it is difficult for them to adjust to the spirit of the SBIR review criteria.

There are several ways to write your application so that the reviewers will be more likely to accept the risk. Aside from providing preliminary data, which reduces the risk, you can address the risk explicitly in terms of a business venture. First show the reviewer that the reward is high. Next, show the reviewer that the most efficient way to test feasibility is to do the high risk experiments first. That is, if one were to first carry out the preliminary studies to reduce the risk, their cost would not justify the savings of avoiding the high risk experiments in the proposal. Be sure to put this aspect of the proposal in terms of a business venture and not a scientific venture.

This technique gives you the highest probability that the reviewer will walk away with the right idea of the reason for carrying out the risky set of experiments with the high gain.

Finally, for high risk ventures, keep the budget as low as possible. The budget is only discussed after the review is complete, but it still enters into the score whether it is supposed to or not. I have seen this happen many times. Therefore when risky experiments are proposed, keep the budget as low as possible.

For more specific and additional information on this topic, click on this link: High Level SBIR/STTR Grant Writing Techniques.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or go to SBIR-STTRgrantshelp.com.



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Techniques in Writing III 
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IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF WRITING A PROPOSAL III

One of the key factors in getting your proposal funded is selling your idea to the reviewers. So, how do you sell your idea? There are many techniques for doing this.

Another important technique is to always put your ideas into the context of the broader picture and then drill down to the details.

A common mistake is for applicants to write their whole application like a marketing brochure, which by definition lacks details.

Make no mistake about it, the application is indeed a marketing tool; but it is just not a brochure. Your audience is looking for the meat in the application. So it is fine to start with broad generalizations, but then drill down to the facts that support the broad statements.

A good technique to use is to use your topic sentence of key paragraphs to give the bottom line of the paragraph. Then give a broad generalization to put the paragraph into context. Then drill down to the facts that lead to the final sentence of the paragraph. This final sentence should be a restatement of the topic sentence.

This technique gives you the highest probability that the reviewer will walk away with the right idea of the paragraph. Many reviewers will only remember the first sentence of a paragraph. If the bottom line is not there, then they will never get the point.

Have you ever gotten back a critique from a reviewer in which it appears that the reviewer never read the application? Everybody has. The above writing style is one technique that you can use to increase the chances that the reviewers will indeed get your point and understand it.

Use this technique to your advantage.

For more specific and additional information on this topic, click on this link: High Level SBIR/STTR Grant Writing Techniques.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or go to SBIR-STTRgrantshelp.com.



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Techniques in Writing II 
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IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF WRITING A PROPOSAL II

One of the key factors in getting your proposal funded is selling your idea to the reviewers. So, how do you sell your idea? There are many techniques for doing this.

Another important technique is to always control the reviewers’ thought process in terms of where their mind will wander as they read your application.

As the reviewers read your application, their minds will start to ask questions. You must learn to anticipate these questions and answer them immediately in your writing. If you do not answer them immediately (or say where in the application the answer can be found), then one of two bad things can happen or one of two good things can happen.

For the good, a reviewer might forget the question and move on or the reviewer might figure out the correct answer, thus no problem.

However, why take that chance in a proposal?

When writing a proposal, take steps to reduce the risk of failure and increase the probability of success.

Here are two bad things that can happen when you let the reviewers' minds wander:

First and worst, they will come up with the wrong answer to the question that was left hanging. You do not want this to happen.

Second, a feeling of incompleteness in the application will set in, even if the question is addressed later. Do not expect the reviewer to put in the effort to keep everything straight. That is your job as the applicant. The reviewer has a lot of applications to go over and does it in a short period of time, so make the proposal as easy and thought free to read as possible.

Use this technique to your advantage.

For more specific and additional information on this topic, click on this link: High Level SBIR/STTR Grant Writing Techniques.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or go to SBIR-STTRgrantshelp.com.



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