Getting Started on Uncle Sam's SBIR Money

Contact: WPI Venture Forum, +1-508-831-5075

Worcester, MA - On Tuesday, February 12, 2002, The WPI Venture Forum, an organization devoted to developing technology-based entrepreneurship, welcomes Ms. Natalie S. Rudolph, Ph.D., principal of Rudolph Biomedical Consulting. Ms. Rudolph will examine the issue of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs. Using her experience and expertise in the field, she will advise entrepreneurs how to strategically use SBIR programs for the advancement of their companies.

Established in 1982, the SBIR program will be in existence for the next several years. The Small Business Reauthorization Act of 2000 sanctioned the program until September 30, 2008. According to the law, federal agencies with extramural research and development (R&D) budgets in excess of $100 million are required to administer SBIR programs using 2.5 percent of that money.

These competitive grants have been provided to qualified small businesses for the exploration of a variety of scientific research projects. Intended to stimulate technological innovations in the private sector, government agencies seek to strengthen the role of small business in meeting federal research and development needs with these awards.

The WPI Venture Forum meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 12, 2002, at 6:30 p.m. in Kinnicutt Hall (please note the change in location of the meeting), on the WPI campus with registration beginning at 6:00 p.m. Admission is $10 for individual annual and lifetime members, $20 for non-members. To register, call 508-831-5075 or visit This meeting is the fourth in a monthly series for 2002 academic year.

Book Signing

The WPI Venture Forum has also arranged for a book signing of several area authors who have recently published books related to owning and starting a business. Topics include technical writing, running your business and e-Business in manufacturing. The WPI Venture Forum has also arranged for the books to be available for purchase at the meeting.

Case Study

In addition to the keynote speech by Ms. Natalie S. Rudolph, there will also be a case presentation. Mr. Jerry Brecher, President and CEO of SuturTek Incorporated will highlight its first product, the patented FastClose devise, which is scheduled for release in the third quarter this year. The first and only wound closure-suturing device designed to comply with legal requirements for "engineered sharps injury protection," FastClose is cost-effective, re-usable and hospital-sterilizable.

In a recent statement, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicated that needle-stick injuries are caused by the design of unsafe needle devices rather than by careless health care workers. "Safer needle devices" significantly reduce the incidence of accidental needle-sticks and exposure to potentially fatal blood borne illnesses," said a spokesman for the CDC. SuturTek is creating a portfolio of patented, proprietary needle-protected suturing wound-closure devices (FDA 510k cleared) that prevent harmful suture needle sticks, thus protecting surgeons, patients, nurses and other healthcare personnel.

Following Mr. Brecher's presentation, a panel of experts, including the guest speaker, will offer comments and constructive feedback.

About the WPI Venture Forum

The WPI Venture Forum was created in 1990 to promote the entrepreneurial spirit and to serve those who engage in technology- based entrepreneurial enterprises by providing advice, support and education tailored to meet their needs. The forum fosters entrepreneurship through such activities as monthly programs, a business plan contest, a weekly radio show on News Radio WTAG (Saturdays, 5-7 pm, 580am), and a monthly newsletter.

The Venture Forum, as part of the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the Department of Management at WPI, serves individuals who are seeking to begin their own technology-based businesses; founders, presidents, and senior managers of start-up or early-stage companies; senior managers of companies that are restarting or making a transition for one mode of operation to another; and employees leaving large companies due to a reduction in force or to start businesses.