Alaska Small Business Development Center


The Alaska Small Business Development Center (Alaska SBDC) is home to the TREND program (Technology, Research, Education, and Development Center of Alaska) which serves Alaskan small businesses and innovators in their technology research and development efforts, including those pursuing SBIR/STTR opportunities. We generate awareness, provide assistance, and offer access to thought leaders in government R&D programs that can serve Alaskan innovators at any stage of their startup process.

TREND is designed to act as a clearing house for Alaskan innovators and startups that are developing new technologies. By providing a centralized hub, TREND facilitates access to resources such as funding opportunities, mentorship, and collaborative networks. The program aims to bridge the gap between concept and commercialization, offering tailored support to help startups navigate the complex landscape of technology development and survival. 

We foster a vibrant innovation ecosystem by connecting entrepreneurs with industry experts, potential investors, and academic institutions, ensuring that groundbreaking ideas have the support needed to thrive. Through workshops, seminars, and one-on-one coaching, TREND empowers innovators to overcome challenges, scale their operations, and bring their technologies to market, ultimately contributing to the economic growth and technological advancement of Alaska.

In addition to regular year-round innovation support, TREND operates the Alaska Phase 0 program in partnership to identify ideas that have the potential to succeed, and that will benefit from expert review and financial support.

Three Ways TREND Can Help Alaskan Innovators


Personalized coaching to help Alaskan innovators refine their business strategies, develop their products, and navigate the challenges of the startup landscape.


Through a robust network of industry professionals, investors, and academic partners, TREND facilitates valuable connections that can open doors to new opportunities and collaborations.


TREND provides resources and training programs to build the capacity of innovators, ensuring they have the necessary skills and knowledge to develop and scale their technologies.

The TREND program embraces UAA’s broader role as a trusted and respected community partner. Join us as we work to positively impact communities through innovation and accelerate your excellence!

What is SBIR?

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and its sibling, the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, are federal initiatives that provide over $2 billion in grants and contracts each year to small and start-up companies to develop new or enhanced products and services based on advanced technologies.

If you are into innovation research and the idea of bringing a new innovative product to market is of interest to you, you may want to learn more about the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. This program is designed specifically for small businesses (or start ups) that are able to bring a particular expertise or solution to a current challenge faced by one of eleven different federal agencies.

How TREND SBIR can help: Whether your government funding and SBIR skills are at a beginner, intermediate, or advanced level, TREND will meet you where you are to help you get to where you want to go.

  • Beginner, Getting Started: I want to learn how the government can help fund my research, invention, or idea, but I don’t know where to start or if it’s even a good fit for me.
  • Desired Outcome: I have a basic understanding of how the Federal Government funds early-stage innovation, research, and inventions. I have enough information to know whether this is something that I and my business want to pursue further, or if it is not a good fit for me. I have clear next steps if I wish to learn more.
  • Intermediate: I want to learn more about SBIR/STTR Phase 1 opportunities with the intent to draft a proposal.
  • Desired Outcome: I have a solid understanding of core SBIR/STTR concepts and have the capabilities and resources to create a Phase I proposal.
  • Advanced: I need specific technical assistance with a Phase I or Phase II SBIR/STTR proposal.
  • Desired Outcome: I have confidence in independently navigating SBIR/STTR opportunities and have the resources, track record, and ability to pursue Phase I and Phase II opportunities. 

TREND SBIR helps Alaskan innovators interested in Small Business Innovation Research grants (SBIR) with the strategy, educational resources, and coaching required for a successful SBIR process.


Phase I

The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of the proposed R/R&D efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small business awardee organization prior to providing further Federal support in Phase II. SBIR/STTR Phase I awards are generally $50,000 – $250,000 for 6 months (SBIR) or 1 year (STTR).

Phase II

The objective of Phase II is to continue the R/R&D efforts initiated in Phase I. Funding is based on the results achieved in Phase I and the scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of the project proposed in Phase II. Typically, only Phase I awardees are eligible for a Phase II award. SBIR/STTR Phase II awards are generally $750,000 for 2 years.

Phase III

The objective of Phase III, where appropriate, is for the small business to pursue commercialization objectives resulting from the Phase I/II R/R&D activities. The SBIR/STTR programs do not fund Phase III. At some Federal agencies, Phase III may involve follow-on non-SBIR/STTR funded R&D or production contracts for products, processes or services intended for use by the U.S. Government.

Phase 0 Funding

TREND partners with the Established Program to Simulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) to offer the Phase 0 program. Phase 0 provides grants to assist small businesses with SBIR/STTR proposal preparation.

The Alaska Phase 0 program is an optional and auxiliary phase designed to give Phase I and Phase II proposals a greater rate of success by providing expert reviews and financial support. It is not an official phase of the SBIR or STTR program and it is not a required step; however, SBIR and STTR proposals submitted under the Phase 0 program have a 30% award rate while the national average is just 15%.

2023 SBIR Phase 0 Awards – $50k in awards to Alaskan companies

  • Alaska Adaptable Housing
  • Copper River Fish Market
  • GRAYSTAR Pacific
  • Hexegy
  • Integrated Robotics Imaging Systems

More Resources

Center ICE at UAF

The University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Center ICE SBIR support program is available to all Alaskans. Center ICE offers cohort-based “SBIR accelerator” programs on a set schedule, and can provide some assistance on an as-needed basis. Center ICE’s SBIR support program provides wrap-around services — all the way from grant matching to proposal submission and execution.

Center ICE provides the following SBIR/STTR services:

  1. Agency and topic navigation
  2. Proposal-writing training and guidance
  3. Mentorship and networking opportunities

Center ICE can also help with pre-SBIR/STTR. Through its National Science Foundation I-Corps Site program, Center ICE also provides customer discovery training and support.

SBIR/STTR-Related Webinars and Workshops

We encourage applicants to review the SBIR-related recordings and training we have available. You can view only the SBIR-related trainings in our client portal.