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We invest up to
$2 million in
seed funding.
And take zero equity.

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A microscopic image of the metals in a plant seedling being studied for its ability to clean contaminated environments. Photo courtesy of Sigray, a small business revolutionizing x-ray research equipment through its patented innovations on x-ray source and optic technology.

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.

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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.

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A diverse portfolio

We fund startups across nearly all technology areas and markets like artificial intelligence, energy, medical devices, robotics, semiconductors, and many more.

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Success Stories

Immersive STEM Learning Platform

Prisms of Reality is using an immersive educational software in virtual reality to demonstrate how multimodal and game-driven learning can be used to enhance math proficiencies, problem solving, and the ability to transfer mathematical knowledge across contexts. To learn more visit:

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Voice biomarkers identify mental health challenges

Kintsugi Mindful Wellness is using artificial intelligence to develop voice biomarker software to measure, predict, and scale access to mental healthcare. To learn more visit:

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Biodegradable plastic made from waste methane

Mango Material is developing a biodegradable plastic from waste methane gas. To learn more visit:

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New drug delivery technology for tumor treatment

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

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Recycling carbon dioxide into fuels

Dimensional Energy uses sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into energy. To learn more visit:

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Blood cleansing device removes pathogens

Path Ex is developing a device to remove pathogens from blood. To learn more visit:

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From plastic trash to 3D printing

re:3D makes large-scale, industrial 3D printers that can print from plastic waste. To learn more visit:

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Learning math using music and psychology

Muzology is developing a learning platform to help students learn math. Grounded in psychology, Muzology’s platform helps students learn algebra concepts with music. To learn more visit:

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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

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.

Learn about our impact

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.

What we look for