Omaha, Nebraska
The Science, Agriculture and Energy (SAgE) series being offered this summer time by the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) and its Innovation and Technology Commercialization program helps contributors put together for pitch occasions and conferences, in addition to acquire recommendation on how you can apply for funding alternatives.

The sequence started in 2020 in partnership with Invest Nebraska and the Combine Incubator, whose targets are to supply monetary and operational assist to high-growth firms, advance the entrepreneurial financial system and appeal to out-of-state capital to Nebraska.

“Increasing awareness and educating entrepreneurs as to the resources available to them is what makes programs like the SAgE series so valuable,” says Invest Nebraska Program Director Matt Foley. “By building a community of successful applicants, we can show other entrepreneurs that their aspirations are achievable.”

NBDC started the Innovation and Technology Commercialization program in 2013 via funding with Small Business Administration (SBA) Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program funds.

Since 2013, NBDC purchasers have submitted 155 Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) grant proposals. Of the 155 submissions, 54 have been awarded and 25 are at present underneath evaluation. “This is a success rate of 41 percent, notably higher than the national SBIR/STTR average award rate of 15 percent,” says Sara Bennett, coordinator of the SAgE sequence. “Total investment to NBDC Innovation clients during the last eight years is nearly $25 million.”

Invest Nebraska was created by the Nebraska Venture Capital Forum Act, launched in 2001 and handed by the Legislature. Since 2002, Invest Nebraska’s statewide affect consists of greater than $25 million in capital deployed, with a further $110 million in personal co-investment capital, $227 million in follow-on capital raised and the creation of greater than 700 jobs.

In 2019, Invest Nebraska based the Combine Incubator to help ag tech startups. Last 12 months, the U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded Invest Nebraska a Build to Scale Award to develop its efforts with the Combine Incubator.

The Combine Incubator hosts meals and ag tech firms progressing via the Combine Commercialization Program, month-to-month AgriFood Meetups, visits from the Combine Insights Producers Network, and native and regional buyers. The incubator is located on the Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln.

“The NBDC is a helpful resource for Invest Nebraska and the Combine,” Foley says. “Building upon this partnership through the SAgE series is critical.”

The NBDC SAgE periods will current particular subjects, highlighting data and steerage relating to the SBIR/STTR software processes for the USDA, Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“We put together this series of events in an effort to support innovators as they work to commercialize research and technology,” Bennett says. “Specifically, we are focusing on innovations intended for use in agricultural applications, energy uses, and general scientific research and development. Nebraska is a prime state to develop technologies that support and advance agriculture and energy.”

The SAgE sequence consists of:

  • July 20: Nebraska Resources 101: NeDED Innovation Programs
  • July 27: Virtual One-on-One Meetings with USDA and NSF Program Managers
  • August 10: How to Register in
  • August 25: Developing your SBIR/STTR Commercialization Plan
  • Sept 15: “Cuss and Discuss” digital interplay with others planning to submit SBIR/STTR proposals to the USDA or NSF who share their challenges and successes.

Bennett says the “Cuss and Discuss” session goes past the “nuts and bolts” of the informational periods to deliver collectively entrepreneurs keen to swap experiences and supply encouragement.

To acquire detailed details about the sequence or to register for any of the webinars and workshops, go to

See associated story: Innovation & Technology Program to Present Two Online Series for Ag, DoD Entrepreneurs