Musings on Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Thursday, October 16, 2003
A Customer-centric Approach to Winning SBIR Proposals
Though I always learn something when I speak with Mitch Hobish, I didn't really expect to learn much about Small Business Innovation Research ("SBIR") grants. I thought I already knew what I needed to know. To me, SBIR's were a kind of government largesse. SBIR's represented free money for those who couldn't earn it in the marketplace. As is usually the case when I slip into snide generalizations, I found that I was wrong. Not that SBIR's aren't sometimes awarded to "SBIR mills," I was just thinking about SBIR's in a bass-ackwards way. Mitch as shown his clients how to treat participating agencies for what they are: customers having a specific set of needs. The track record of Mitch's clients speaks volumes about the efficacy of the customer-centric approach. I've pulled together my notes from a recent sit-down with Mitch, which includes liberal audio annotations by Mitch.