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About the Business Innovation Act

Access to Capital for Nebraska Entrepreneurs

The Talent and Innovation Initiative was passed by the Nebraska Legislature and signed into law in 2011. The Act included the Nebraska Business Innovation Act (BIA), which is designed to promote successful entrepreneurial firms by providing access to capital in early stages of product development. The program is managed by The Nebraska Department of Economic Development. 

Invest Nebraska partners with The Nebraska Department of Economic Development to manage the Nebraska Seed Investment Fund. 

Nebraska Prototype Grant Program

The Prototype Grant Program provides financial assistance to individuals and businesses operating in Nebraska to support proof of concept activities. The program helps businesses develop new technologies and leverage innovation to enhance quality job opportunities within the State. The grant is up to $150,000 and must be matched with private capital in an amount equal or greater than 50% of the award. If the project is a value-added agriculture project the match is 25%. Matching funds must come from non-state government sources.

Academic Research & Development Program

Academic R & D involves applied research, new product development, or new uses of intellectual property. The academic research and development being performed on behalf of the business must be directed toward: the commercialization of new products, the modification of existing products that lead to substantially improved marketability, or to the improvement of existing processes that will provide new sources of revenue to a Nebraska business.

 

The business must use faculty or facilities of a public or private college or university in Nebraska. 

SBIR/STTR Program

The federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the federal Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program provides funding competitions in two phases that are relevant to the Nebraska SBIR/STTR Program. Phase 1- to conduct feasibility research; and Phase 2-to expand and develop Phase 1 results into commercially viable innovations.

Nebraska small businesses that receive a federal notification of award for a federal SBIR/STTR grant may receive a state grant of 65% of the federal grant up to a maximum of $100,000.

Nebraska Seed Investment Fund

Invest Nebraska partners with The Nebraska Department of Economic Development and receives an appropriation under the Business Innovation Act that provides the resources to fund companies. An eligible business must have less than 500 employees and funds must be expended within 24 months of the awarding decision.  

Companies should contact Invest Nebraska prior to applying for these funds.