"The grants we received from NSF were instrumental in building the first version of our product and acquiring our first customers. When we received our Phase I funding in 2010 we were two founders. As of 2022, our team within Cisco has grown to 700 employees and growing."
Mohit Lad CEO, ThousandEyes, acquired by Cisco for $1 billion, according to CNBC (NSF-1058602)
We invest up to
$2 million in
And take zero equity.
Submit a Project Pitch NOW and find out if your project is a good fit.
Seed capital for early stage product development
We offer funding for early stage R&D and take no equity in your company — you retain full control over your team, the direction of your work, and your intellectual property.
Find us at dozens of annual events
Join our regular webinars or find NSF staff and program directors at events like conferences, SBIR road tours, and more.
A diverse portfolio
We fund startups across nearly all technology areas and markets like artificial intelligence, energy, medical devices, robotics, semiconductors, and many more.
Biodegradable plastic made from waste methane
Mango Material is developing a biodegradable plastic from waste methane gas. To learn more visit: https://www.mangomaterials.com/.
New drug delivery technology for tumor treatment – Tambo
Tambo developed a new technology to activate drugs at specific locations within the body to treat diseases with lower doses of drugs and fewer toxic side effects. Learn more about Tambo’s technology at https://www.shasqi.com/.
Recycling carbon dioxide into fuels
Dimensional Energy uses sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into energy. To learn more visit: https://dimensionalenergy.com/.
From plastic trash to 3D printing
re:3D makes large-scale, industrial 3D printers that can print from plastic waste. To learn more visit: https://re3d.org/.
We support research and development of deep technologies - those that are based on discoveries in fundamental science and engineering. As we review applications, we consider your technology’s innovativeness, commercial potential, and possible societal impact. View current awardees
America's Seed Fund
National Science Foundation
SBIR | STTR
Photo Credit: Cyclopure | Cyclopure CP analytical chemists can measure DEXSORB@ efficiency at 1-2 part per trillion concentration
We are America's Seed Fund
Since 1977, America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF (also known as the NSF SBIR/STTR program) has helped startups develop their ideas and bring them to market. We funded about 400 companies each year.
We embrace diversity
Our program fosters and encourages participation in innovation and entrepreneurship by women and people of color as well as first-time entrepreneurs from all 50 states and U.S. territories.
"Huge thanks NSF SBIR for giving us the chance to build the underlying foundational technology that is allowing us to dream big."
Jignesh Patel CEO of DataChat (NSF-1853057)
"NSF helped us refine our vision, figure out if our technology could be used for different applications, and helped us figure out if we can manufacture our technology in a scalable fashion — taking it from an academic project to a real-scale commercial project."
Shreya Dave Co-founder and CEO of Via Separations (NSF-1831203)
"We were able to spin out from the University of Washington and get started as an independent company entirely with the support of our first NSF SBIR, and we are incredibly grateful for NSF’ continued support over the years!"
David Younger Co-Founder & CEO, A-Alpha Bio (NSF-1950992)
"It's no secret that there is a dearth of black and brown women in technology; but for immigrants with accents (like me) things get even more complicated: I look and sound too different from anyone who has successfully led a company to an exit, making it extra hard for me to raise money from investors. Having the opportunity to get non-dilutive funding from an early start has helped not only de-risk our engineering development but has validated me as a founder and built confidence in my business, that I’m betting will grow over the next decade."
Maria Artunduaga Founder and CEO, Respira Labs (NSF-2112096)