Three small businesses funded by the NOAA Small Business Innovation Research Program were selected to showcase their innovative technologies at the inaugural America’s Seed Fund Startup Expo on May 25, 2022. The Startup Expo, hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Investment and Innovation, will feature presentations from 12 U.S.-based entrepreneurs who have developed impactful technologies using federal SBIR/STTR dollars.
Featured presenters were selected through a competitive process based on short video applications that introduced their innovation team, described their technology and its impact, and shared next steps for their company. The selected entrepreneurs will showcase technologies in four key industries:
- Climate & Energy,
- AgTech & Food Security,
- Supply Chain Resiliency, and
- National Security & Defense.
The Startup Expo has attracted high-profile attention from the SBA Administrator, as well as the White House. In addition to featuring presentations from U.S. startups, the event will also include moderated panel discussions about the future of critical and emerging technologies with industry leaders in each of the key industries. The virtual event is free and open to the public, allowing innovation communities throughout the country to participate from afar.
The following small businesses are NOAA SBIR awardees that were selected to participate in the Startup Expo:
- BlueTrace, based in Castine, Maine, is developing tagging, traceability, and compliance technology for the shellfish industry. Their NOAA SBIR-funded technology increases safety for seafood consumers and also helps organizations in the shellfish industry optimize their activities, comply with regulations, and keep up with inventory.
- Nucleic Sensing Systems, based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, is developing an automatic system for monitoring environmental DNA (eDNA) within the aquaculture industry. Their technology detects diseases, aquatic organisms, and pathogens in aquaculture facilities to ultimately increase protein production and quality and also reduce risk for farmers.
- BadVR, based in Pacoima, California, is developing a commercial demonstration virtual reality application that allows multiple users to simultaneously explore and interact with data in three dimensions.
These three small businesses are developing cutting-edge technologies with support from the NOAA SBIR program. BlueTrace and Nucleic Sensing Systems, both which will be featured during the AgTech & Food Security portion of the Startup Expo, received funding through the NOAA FY21 Phase II SBIR competition. BadVR received a NOAA FY20 Phase II SBIR award and will be featured during the National Security & Defense portion of the event. All three companies also participate in NOAA’s Commercialization Assistance Program, a mentoring and training program that supports small businesses’ efforts to commercialize their technologies.
The mission of NOAA’s SBIR program is to stimulate U.S. economic and business growth through the commercialization of innovative mission-relevant technologies by investing NOAA research funds in small businesses and providing education and support to entrepreneurs throughout the process of researching, developing, and commercializing products or services. NOAA is one of 11 participating federal agencies that collectively support more than $4 billion a year in federal research and development funding