Arrowhead Center SBIR Accelerator (ACSA)

Applications are due November 08th


Notices will be sent out November 13th

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Real-time Support for SBIR Proposal Package Preparation.

Timing matters. Run concurrently with the Department of Defense’s (DoD) 2020.1 SBIR Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), Arrowhead Center’s SBIR Accelerator (ACSA) provides the structure and support you need to put together a strong proposal package.

Do you have a technology or innovation that can address Warfighter needs and has commercial potential?

The ACSA Model

Putting together a strong SBIR proposal takes time. Drawing on the resources and expertise of NM FAST, ACSA provides a guided, structured track of support, from registration to submission. Throughout the 11-week program, participants receive guidance on areas such as selecting the most relevant topic area, preparing an accurate budget, and creating a complete proposal package that adheres to DoD requirements. Each week focuses on an aspect of proposal package development and culminates with a submission to the Department of Defense (DoD) 2020.1 SBIR BAA.

Weekly, participants can expect to:

  • Attend a virtual meeting
  • Complete a portion of their proposal package
  • Receive feedback, guidance, and support from NM FAST

This ACSA agency-specific program focuses on the DoD’s 2020.1 SBIR BAA. The DoD SBIR program funds across ten service components who look at technology and innovation across an array of specializations. Typically, DoD topic areas seek innovative ideas to solve real-world problems affecting the warfighter. Because of this, DoD topic areas tend to be very narrow in scope, and your ultimate customer (and Phase III) will be the DoD.

However, both Navy and Air Force have recently allowed for “open topic” areas where they will review any type of technology or innovation that might align with their needs as an organization. Special consideration will be given towards these topics during the cohort.

Through the ACSA program, you’ll receive targeted support on the following areas of proposal development:

  • Registrations
  • Executive summary & quad chart
  • Topic matching
  • Letter(s) of support
  • Forms
  • Grant writing
  • Budget creation

We will facilitate a meeting or phone call with the appropriate DoD topic author, conduct a professional review of your completed proposal package, and be on-call during the submission process.

DoD SBIR 2020.1 Pre-Release — November 26, 2019

DoD SBIR 2020.1 Open — January 8, 2020

DoD SBIR 2020.1 Close — February 12, 2020

Tailored Benefits

Targeted Support

Our team walks you through the DoD SBIR proposal development process, from start to finish.


We want you to submit the strongest proposal possible.

Professional Review

Having a third party review your proposal is critical. The ACSA program has SBIR experts on-hand to review and provide constructive feedback before you submit.


Putting together a quality SBIR proposal package can be overwhelming. We use a cohort-style approach to build a community of innovators working towards a shared goal (Don’t worry: your technology will be covered by a non-disclosure agreement).

We will also connect you to experts – those who live and breathe SBIR – throughout the program. Expect to talk to DoD topic authors, DCAA compliance experts, past reviewers, and more.

We are looking for small businesses committed to submitting a proposal package to the DoD’s 2020.1 SBIR BAA.

Requirements include:

SBIR Program Eligibility:

  • Having 500 or fewer employees;
  • Being independently owned and operated and organized for profit;
  • Having your principal place of business in the U.S.;
  • Being at least 51% owned by U.S. citizens or lawfully admitted permanent resident aliens;
  • Performing all work within the U.S.;
  • Having the Principal Investigator (PI) spend more than one-half of their time employed by the proposing firm; and,
  • Having a minimum of two-thirds of the research work performed by the proposing firm in Phase I and one-half in Phase II.

To participate in ACSA, additional requirements must be met:

  • Business must be based in New Mexico
  • Business cannot have won a SBIR/STTR from DoD in the past three years; and
  • Business must commit to submitting a DoD SBIR proposal.


Application Deadline

November 08, 2019

Acceptance Notices Sent

November 13, 2019

First Day of ACSA

November 20, 2019

Last Day of ACSA

February 5, 2020

DoD 2019.1 Submission Deadline

February 12, 2020

Application Deadline








Frequently Asked Questions

How much does ACSA cost?

There is no cost to participate in ACSA. You do, however, have to commit to submitting a SBIR proposal at the completion of the program.

What is the time commitment for participation?

ACSA doesn’t add too much additional time to the proposal development process. Putting together a strong SBIR proposal package typically requires at least 100+ hours, especially for first-time applicants. During the program, you’ll also need to dedicate about an hour each week for a virtual meeting and check-in.

Does participation in ACSA guarantee me a SBIR award?

No. ACSA is designed to help participants put together and submit a stronger proposal package, which increases the success of an award, but in no way guarantees it.

I don’t live in Las Cruces – can I still participate?

Yes! ACSA is a statewide program delivered virtually. You can participate from anywhere.

I don’t have grant writing experience – can I still participate?

Yes! The ACSA program is designed to assist first time applicants and will utilize specialized resources and expertise to help you through the process.

Funded through a sub-contract with NMT

This accelerator is an initative of the NM FAST program, which is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration

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