To submit a proposal package, in addition to the general SBA requirements, a business must have registered through the NSF single-sign on system via Research.gov. Once registered, a business will need to manage and submit their proposal through FastLane, the NSF proposal creation tool. In order to successfully connect to these systems, a business must have fully completed their DUNS and SAM registrations.
Additionally, as of March 2019, NSF is moving towards an “always online” proposal submission system, with two 6-month submission windows. To submit a proposal though, a small business must have submitted a “Project Pitch” through the online portal for Project Pitches, and received positive feedback on that pitch. If the Project Pitch is accepted, the small business will receive an official invitation (via email) from the cognizant NSF SBIR/STTR Program Director. If your Project Pitch is not accepted, the small business will receive feedback on why the proposed innovation is not a good fit for the NSF SBIR/STTR programs as it has been pitched. A Project Pitch requires the business to supply information on the innovation, focusing on why it is novel and unique, the technical objectives and challenges to be completed during the Phase I work, the market opportunity for the intended product, and background on the company and team and why they are the correct mix of people to bring the product to market.
Ensure you have read the solicitation carefully, as these requirements might change between funding years.