SBIR Gateway
SBIR Person of the Year 2019
Brittany Sickler

Brittany Sickler
Brittany Sickler
The year 2019 brought about more rapid change to the fundamentals of SBIR/STTR competition and support, than any in recent memory. This posed a great challenge for education and training, not only to the small business community, but to the network of independent SBIR service providers, state and local outreach organizations, and universities.

Brittany Sickler, Small Business Administration's (SBA) Senior Innovation Policy Advisor (SBIR/STTR), at SBA's Office of Investment and Innovation, has been leading a herculean "boots on the ground" effort for SBA's SBIR outreach programs to address these and other SBIR related changes.

In an environment of limited resources and small staff, Brittany has worked at 110% to manage and lead the SBA's SBIR Road Tours, which is a national outreach effort travelling to dozens of cities, connecting entrepreneurs and small businesses with SBIR program managers and staff.

The tours included SBIR program presentations and the opportunity to meet "one-on-one" with agency program managers. One-on-one meetings with program managers are often analogous with herding cats. (Kudos should also be given to Brittany's boss, John Williams, who was one of the original designers of these SBIR outreach programs.)

The 2019 SBIR Road Tour covered Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Vermont, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida and Puerto Rico. Additional support was provided by the SBA contractor.

left: Brittany Sickler with SBIR Presenters and Program Managers
Albuquerque, NM

In addition to this, Brittany also hosted and led telecons that were known as the "SBA SBIR Support Organization Monthly Call". The goal was to share pertinent program information, highlight updates from agencies, showcase best practices from partners, and receive feedback on what's taking place around the country.

The participants included independent SBIR service providers, Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership awardees, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC), Universities, Accelerators, Incubators, Women's Business Centers (WBC), and State Economic Development Offices.

In recognition of her exemplary hard work, dedication and vision, Ms. Brittany Sickler of the SBA's Office of Innovation and Technology is the SBIR Person of the Year for 2019.

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