In the first part of this blog post, SGNT Awarded NSF SBIR Phase I Grant! – The Inside Scoop – Part 1, we were excited to announce our grant and I explained the crazy story of how we got started.
As I previously mentioned, we only had barely two weeks to get this grant proposal written and submitted. On top of that, we hadn’t started any of the registration process that is required! If you are not familiar with the process, any company wishing to do business with the Federal Government (including submitting grants) must be registered on sam.gov. On top of that, you must register in other applicable websites to submit a grant, and that cannot be done until the SAM registration is complete. There are several steps involved, but to make a long story short, this process would take 1-2 weeks before we could even be eligible to submit our proposal.
With these obstacles in mind we decided to go for it. We submitted our registration and managed to get our account activated right before the deadline. Once it looked like our registration would go through in time, we got started on writing the grant! Neither of us had written a grant before, so we were going in a bit blind. We had built a relationship with Sonia V at OppsSpot, so we hired her to guide us through the process.
With the deadline only a few days out, Emil and I bunkered down at his condo for 3 days (with lots of coffee) and managed to crank out our whole grant application. Sonia helped with the revisions, and her guidance and insight was truly amazing. I honestly don’t think we would have succeeded if we hadn’t brought her on-board. There was a lot of material to complete for the proposal, but we were fortunate enough to have completed significant prior planning and had generated a lot of written material before-hand!
The craziest thing didn’t happen until submission day, but I’ll save that for the end of this story in Part 3.