Arrowhead Center SBIR Accelerator (ACSA)

Applications will be open in March



Apply Soon!

Real-time Support for SBIR/STTR Proposal Package Preparation.

Timing matters. Run concurrently with the United State Department of Energy’s (DOE) SBIR/STTR open submission window, Arrowhead Center’s SBIR/STTR Accelerator (ACSA) provides the structure and support you need to put together a strong proposal package.

Do you have a transformative technology or innovative idea with commercial potential?

The ACSA Model

Putting together a strong SBIR/STTR 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 12-week program, participants will receive guidance on areas such as aligning to a DOE topic area, submitting a compelling Letter of Intent, and creating a complete proposal package that adheres to DOE requirements. Each week focuses on an aspect of proposal package development and culminates with a submission to DOE.

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 DOE’s SBIR/STTR programs. The DOE SBIR/STTR Programs focus on supporting high quality research “to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions”. DOE offers more than sixty technical topics and 250 subtopics, spanning research areas that support the DOE mission in Energy Production, Energy Use, Fundamental Energy Sciences, Environmental Management, and Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation.

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

  • Registrations
  • Project Pitch
  • Topic matching
  • Letter(s) of support
  • Forms
  • Grant writing
  • Budget creation

The NM FAST program will help you facilitate a meeting or phone call with an appropriate DOE program director, conduct a professional review of your completed proposal package, and be on-call during the submission process.

The Team

Del Mackey

Economic Development Officer

Arrowhead Center

A member of the NM FAST team for five years, Del has extensive experience in helping clients prepare SBIR/STTR proposal packages for every agency.

Dan Suhr

Owner and President

Independent Platform

Since 2006, Dan Suhr has been instrumental in securing and performing SBIR Phase I and II grants from the NIH, NSF, and USDA for employers, clients and his own company. In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Dan is a proposal/plan writing workshop instructor, Coach of startup clients, and moderator of topic-specific workshops

Tailored Benefits

Targeted Support

Our team will walk you through the DOE SBIR/STTR proposal development process, from start to finish.

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/STTR 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 DOE program managers, DCAA compliance experts, past reviewers, and more.

We are looking for small businesses working on innovative ideas with commercial potential, that align with DOE SBIR/STTR guidelines.

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; and
  • Business cannot have won a SBIR/STTR from DOE in the past two years.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does ACSA cost?
There is no cost to participate in ACSA.
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 two hours 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.

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

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