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Uncle Sam Wants You

Funding from the Small Business Innovation Research program

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This story appears in the April 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Searching for free money to launch the business of your dreams? You may not find it, but one government program comes close. Each year, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program awards $1.1 billion in funding to small businesses on the cutting edge of technology.

The main prerequisite for these funds is having an invention desired by one of 11 participating government agencies. The SBIR program pays you to develop that technology, and you're free to eventually sell the product commercially. For Matthew Schor, 37, president of Eagle Eye Technologies Inc., the SBIR program provided badly needed seed money. The Herndon, Virginia, company created a satellite tracking system that can pinpoint the geographic location of a person or object anywhere in the world.

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