Alaska Small Business Development Center

Introducing Tyler Arnold, New TREND Program Director and the 2023 TREND Phase 0 Award Recipients

August 29, 2023

Meet Tyler Arnold, the newly appointed Director of the TREND Program. With a strong background in entrepreneurship and a passion for supporting Alaskan small businesses and entrepreneurs, Tyler brings a wealth of experience to the Alaska Small Business Development Center (Alaska SBDC) and its clients.

Tyler Arnold, TREND Program Director at Alaska SBDCAs the Director of the TREND Program, Tyler is dedicated to helping Alaskan small businesses and entrepreneurs develop products and services that align with government research efforts. With a decade of experience as a startup founder, Tyler understands the challenges and opportunities that arise when seeking federal research and development funding. Born and raised in Alaska, Tyler’s entrepreneurial journey has taken him across four countries and multiple U.S. cities, allowing him to blend a local business mindset with a global perspective. In recognition of his achievements, Tyler was awarded Alaska SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011.

“I’m thrilled to be able to utilize lessons I’ve learned in my entrepreneurial journey to work with Alaskan innovators in gaining access to government research and technology funding. As our Phase 0 winners know, the dedication, focus, and workload required in bringing inventions to fruition is immense and all consuming. Under these conditions, working with the government can feel distant or intimidating. My goal is to further develop the TREND Program to close the gaps that exist between local innovators and the government programs designed to help fund their research.”

About the TREND Program

The Alaska SBDC, in collaboration with the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), is pleased to announce the recipients of the prestigious 2023 Technology Research and Development Center of Alaska (TREND) Phase 0 grants.

The TREND Phase 0 Program aims to support early-stage Alaskan innovators and forward-thinking companies with promising technologies. Recipients of these grants receive up to $10,000 to fuel their projects. While participation in the program is optional, it serves as a powerful catalyst for success. By providing expert assessments and essential financial support, Phase 0 grants give recipients a decisive competitive edge. In fact, proposals that embrace Phase 0 grants have achieved an impressive 30% success rate, surpassing the national average of 15%.

Join us in congratulating the remarkable achievements of the following 2023 recipients:

Alaska Adaptable Housing - TREND 2023 Phase 0 Award RecipientAlaska Adaptable Housing (Fairbanks, AK): Alaska Adaptable Housing aims to revolutionize housing design, construction, and deployment strategies in Alaska. By creating standardized construction systems, an online housing design innovation platform, and community-led building initiatives, they maximize the utilization of local materials, expertise, and labor.

Copper River Fish Market - TREND 2023 Phase 0 Award RecipientCopper River Fish Market: Dedicated to amplifying the voices of independent small-boat fishers and expanding market opportunities for their catch, Copper River Fish Market is a mission-driven e-commerce seafood shop. Their project focuses on improving economic resilience in remote coastal communities.

GRAYSTAR Pacific - TREND 2023 Phase 0 Award RecipientGRAYSTAR Pacific: With a history dating back to 1985, GRAYSTAR Pacific specializes in the development and commercialization of technologies and products in hydration & nutrition, medical marine-based materials and compounds, and marine natural products.

Hexegy - TREND 2023 Phase 0 Award RecipientHexegy: Leveraging layered nanofabrication methods inspired by computer-chip manufacturing, Hexegy enhances water and air quality measurement. Through nanotechnology-enabled, next-generation spectroscopy platforms, the company revolutionizes analytical chemistry across industries and advances measurement capabilities in terms of sensitivity, speed, versatility, simplicity, and cost.

Integrated Robotics Imaging Systems - TREND 2023 Phase 0 Award RecipientIntegrated Robotics Imaging Systems: Integrated Robotics aims to equip first responders with early wildfire detection capability, regardless of weather conditions. Their technology provides precise geolocation of fires with just one sensor, significantly reducing response times, costs, and ultimately saving lives and property.

“Congratulations to all the amazing Phase 0 grant recipients who have demonstrated exceptional expertise and innovation,” said Jon Bittner, State Director of the Alaska SBDC. “Their dedication to pushing the boundaries of their respective industries is truly inspiring, and we are excited to support them on their journey towards success.”

The TREND Phase 0 grants will enable these recipients to further develop their projects and secure Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 grants from federal agencies. Thanks to the support from the Alaska SBDC’s TREND program and EPSCoR, these innovative ventures will continue to grow and thrive.

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