InventSeries SBIR programming

Invent2026 provides an exportable 12-week program to advise startups and small businesses seeking support under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. This is a modular and comprehensive program with weekly learning outcomes focused on producing required elements to a successful SBIR proposal.

For startups and small businesses that are commercializing a technology, support under the SBIR program can allow an invention to take form and function, and find government and commercial markets. That is why it is so essential for these startups and small businesses to understand their inventions, communicate the value of their technologies, and meet the requirements of the SBIR program to compete for SBIR grant funding.


Invent2026 provides a 12-week program to provide ongoing support for startups and small businesses targeting SBIR grants, ensuring participating companies and entrepreneurial leads produce a competitive proposal. The program includes three-hour weekly instructional sessions, with additional offline support.

Programming can be tailored for companies seeking SBIR phase I and II grants, across the different federal funding agencies. Invent2026 works with experienced proposal reviewers and corporate partners to provide guidance to participating companies and entrepreneurial leads.

The SBIR program annually provides $2.5 billion to startups and small businesses commercializing technologies from the laboratory. Grants under the SBIR program are provided in two phases: phase I grants can be provided for up to $250,000, and phase II grants can be given for up to $1 million.

The first InventSeries program launched in January of 2018 with the “InventIllinois" program, provided in support of the Women's Business Development Center. The InventIllinois program is supported by the Small Business Administration's Federal and State Technology (FAST) grant. Fourteen companies participated in the initial cohorts.

DiscoverSeries events

Invent2026's DiscoverSeries convenes regular discussions, bringing an audience of small- and medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurs, and corporate partners in front of a researcher or lab director, presenting current research that is ready to be commercialized or co-developed. Each event is focused on a sector – energy storage, water, smart farming, to name a few – where researchers and research institutions can make their work available for cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) and licensing.


The goal of the DiscoverSeries is to facilitate communication between laboratories and small- and medium-sized new ventures and startups, and map out pathways through which industry partners can commercialize and fund the development of research into product form.


Researchers are given 10-15 minutes to present their work, and then be interviewed with audience participation. Ideally the researcher would use this platform to present research that has not yet been made available for licensing, but instead needs a commercial partner to develop the research into a new technology.

The goal is to uncover what the technology can look like (form and function) and how the technology can be used in the market.

Invent2026 held our first DiscoverSeries event in January of 2019 at the offices of Freeborn and Peters LLP, convening a conversation with Dr. George Crabtree of Argonne National Laboratory's Joint Center for Energy Storage Research.