The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a competitive program that encourages small businesses in the Unites States to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization.
VentureRadar tracks companies that have been awarded SBIR grants back more than 15 years. We decided to pick out the Top 10 ranked companies from more than 13,000 on VentureRadar that have been awarded SBIR funding at some stage in their development. The highest ranked companies are: Ginkgo BioWorks, 23andMe, Descartes Labs, Neurala, Protagonist Therapeutics, Genomatica, DeepScale, Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Liquidia Technologies, and SQZ Biotech. You can find out more about each company in the profiles below.
Ginkgo Bioworks / Founded: 2008 / Headquarters: Boston, MA
Ginkgo Bioworks is an organism design company that is building organisms to specification for customers across a variety of markets including food, health, and consumer goods. The company’s organism engineers work directly with customers, including Fortune 500 companies, to design microbes for their specific needs in markets including flavors and fragrance, cosmetics and personal care, and food and nutrition.
Descartes Labs / Founded: 2014 / Headquarters: Santa Fe, NM
Descartes Labs is building a data-refinery on a cloud-based supercomputer for the application of machine intelligence to massive data sets. The company is using its data refinery for satellite imagery, processing images from the major NASA and ESA satellite constellations at scale, creating a digital data twin of the entire planet that monitors the whole earth, in near real-time.
Neurala / Founded: 2006 / Headquarters: Boston, MA
Neurala is the company behind Brain Builder, a SaaS platform that reduces the time, cost and skills required to build and maintain production-quality custom vision AI solutions. Founded in 2006, Neurala’s research team invented Lifelong-DNN (L-DNN) technology, which reduces the data requirements for AI model development and enables continuous learning in the cloud or at the edge. With customers in the drone, robotics, smart device, industrial inspection and AI professional services verticals, Neurala’s technology has been deployed on 30 million devices globally.
Protagonist Therapeutics / Founded: 2007 / Headquarters: Newark, CA
Protagonist Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a proprietary technology platform focused on discovering and developing peptide-based new chemical entities (NCEs) that can potentially transform existing treatment paradigms in disease areas with significant unmet medical needs. The company’s platform enables the company to discover peptides in a de novo fashion with the desired degree of potency, specificity and selectivity, and also engineer oral stability with specific peptidomimetic and chemical modifications. The company has successfully utilized this platform to discover PN-10-943 and PTG-200 which are oral, GI-restricted peptides for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), as well as PTG-300, an injectable peptide for rare blood disorders.
Genomatica / Founded: 2000 / Headquarters: San Diego, CA
Genomatica is a leader in bioengineering and naturally-sourced ingredients that is leading the transition to more sustainable materials. The company develops biobased process technologies that enable a better way to produce widely-used chemicals from alternative feedstocks, with better economics, sustainability, and performance. Genomatica has already commercialized processes for two important chemicals, butanediol (for biodegradable plastics and apparel) and butylene glycol (for cosmetics and personal care).
Recursion Pharmaceuticals / Founded: 2013 / Headquarters: Salt Lake City, UT
Recursion is a clinical-stage biotechnology company combining experimental biology and automation with artificial intelligence in a massively parallel system to efficiently discover potential drugs for diverse indications, including genetic disease, inflammation, immunology, and infectious disease. Recursion applies causative perturbations to human cells to generate disease models and associated biological image data. Recursion’s rich, relatable database of more than a petabyte of biological images generated in-house on the company’s robotics platform enables advanced machine learning approaches to reveal drug candidates, mechanisms of action, and potential toxicity, with the eventual goal of decoding biology and advancing new therapeutics to radically improve lives.
Liquidia Technologies / Founded: 2004 / Headquarters: Morrisville, NC
Liquidia Technologies is a late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutics using its proprietary PRINT® technology to transform the lives of patients. Liquidia is focused on the development of two product candidates using its PRINT® particle engineering platform: LIQ861 for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension and LIQ865 for the treatment of local post-operative pain.
SQZ Biotech / Founded: 2013 / Headquarters: Watertown, MA
SQZ Biotech is a privately held company creating innovative treatments by transforming cells into sophisticated therapeutics. Using its proprietary platform, SQZ has the unique ability to precision engineer any cell type and deliver multiple materials,resulting in powerful, multifunctional cell therapies for a range of diseaseswith an initial focus on cancer and autoimmune disease.The first applications for the company leverage SQZ’s ability to generate target-specific immune responses, both in activation for the treatment of solid tumors, and immune suppression for the treatment of auto-immune diseases.