Arrowhead Center SBIR Accelerator (ACSA)

Applications are due June 25th


Notices will be sent out July 2nd

Apply Today

Real-time Support for SBIR Proposal Package Preparation.

Timing matters. Run concurrently with the United State Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) SBIR open submission window, Arrowhead Center’s SBIR 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 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 USDA priority area, creating actionable Letters of Support, and creating a complete proposal package that adheres to USDA requirements. Each week focuses on an aspect of proposal package development and culminates with a submission to USDA.

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 USDA’s SBIR program. The USDA SBIR Program focuses on supporting high quality research related to important scientific problems and opportunities in agriculture that could lead to significant public benefits. USDA funds innovative ideas across a wide spectrum of topics related to agriculture, food safety, crop production, livestock production and ranching, and even rural development. USDA also allows for submissions that deal with agriculturally related manufacturing and alternative and renewable energy technologies across all SBIR topic areas.

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 USDA 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 USDA SBIR 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 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 USDA 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 USDA 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 from USDA in the past two years.


Informational Webinar

June 9, 2021

Application Deadline

June 25, 2021

Acceptance Notices Sent

July 2, 2021

First Day of ACSA

July 14, 2021

Last Day of ACSA

September 29, 2021

Application Deadline








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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