Improve your SBIR Proposal - Insights SBIR Review Process

Improve your SBIR Proposal - Plus Coaching

Insights from an Experienced Reviewer - 2 hours of 1-on-1 coaching | taught by Nicole Toomey Davis
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Nicole Toomey Davis
Nicole Toomey Davis
President & CEO and co-Founder, Enclavix, LLC, Creator of AI-Powered VentureWrench Startup Coaching Community, Private Company Board Member, Serial Entrepreneur, Innovator, Capital Coach, Successful Fundraiser

About the Instructor

Nicole Toomey Davis is President & CEO of Enclavix, LLC, creators of the VentureWrench Coaching Community and the VentureWrench Library found at, a free online application that uses artificial intelligence to identify  and organize the most useful resources for entrepreneurs. 

Ms. Davis is a serial entrepreneur who has raised millions of dollars from angel and VC investors as well as over $1.2 million in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) SBIR program.  She has mentored hundreds of entrepreneurs and spent 6 years running a grant funding program for the State of Utah to help bring to market some of the state's most advanced technologies. Ms. Davis blogs at

Each VentureWrench course is designed to help entrepreneurs strengthen their business and get the capital they need to succeed!  

Ms. Davis holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is a published author, with both textbook contributions and press articles to her credit, and is frequently called upon to speak at industry events and has been recognized by her peers with many industry awards.  


This course is designed to help you Improve your SBIR or STTR proposal!  

As a longtime and experienced reviewer of both Phase I and Phase II SBIR proposals, I have had so many questions about proposals for the upcoming SBIR deadlines that I have put together a "mini course" on what actually happens behind the scenes during the Review Process of SBIR proposals.

  • Nicole has raised $1.2 million in SBIR funding
  • 2 Hours of Video
  • *New* 105 page Workbook PDF "Improving Your SBIR Proposal" to reinforce key points
  • "New" Checklists and To Do lists to make sure you don't miss a submission deadline
  • "New" Proposal section examples from WINNING proposals
  • Videos can be viewed as many times as you want for 2 years
  • In depth discussion of the "40 Ways to Improve your SBIR proposal" Handout!


This course, is designed to help you Improve your SBIR or STTR proposal!   
Welcome to our VentureWrench Course, a behind the scenes look at the SBIR / STTR Review Process. This course includes over 2 hours of SBIR review specific content to help you improve your proposals.  This package includes 2 hours of 1-on-1 coaching from Nicole personally.  

In addition this course includes another hour of bonus content to help you develop a great introduction/project summary or elevator pitch for your proposal.  I hope that these insights into how Reviewers look at proposals will help you in your efforts to create great, award worthy proposals! 

Don't kid yourself, many SBIR and STTR proposals fail for simple reasons, not because of technology or market.  Nicole helps you understand opportunities and pitfalls in preparing a proposal. Don't let that be you!   The first job of an entrepreneur is to attract the resources they need, this course can help you get there with the SBIR and STTR programs.

As a longtime and experienced reviewer of both Phase I and Phase II SBIR proposals, I have had so many questions about proposals for the upcoming SBIR deadlines that I have put together a "mini course" on what actually happens behind the scenes during the Review Process of SBIR proposals.

This permanent course came from a live course conducted in a few months ago with input from teams working on proposals for upcoming December deadlines.

Items covered include:

  • The importance of the pre-proposal executive summary/submission (more than 2 weeks in advance of submission deadlines) Your chance to make reviewers love what you do!
  • Overview of orientation that reviewers receive
  • Identifying the different types of reviewers on a panel and how this impacts the process
  • What reviewers are asked to do for each review (and how this impacts your proposal!)
  • Why an SBIR Program Director said on a road tour this summer that just a few things can raise your odds of being awarded funding from 15% to over 50%!
  • Why the Introduction can make or break your entire proposal
  • The order in which experienced reviewers read your proposal - and why it matters.
  • Differences and similarities between SBIR Phase I and Phase II reviews, and why your Phase I review is really the first part of your Phase II review
  • Do letters of support really matter - and how not to get them
  • What is really needed in the commercialization section of an SBIR Phase I (vs. Phase II)
  • Review of my list of 40 ways to improve your SBIR proposal (from mistakes I saw in actual proposals)
  • The difference between individual reviews and panel summary (and scores) and what that feedback means
  • How to track the progress of your proposal
  • Clues that you have been recommended for funding and what to expect from your Program Director or Technical Point of Contact (DoD)

Content includes 9 core content chapters, over 2 hours of content plus four bonus chapters to help you with your executive summary or proposal overview and another bonus chapter to help you with your SBIR accounting.

For Serious Entrepreneurs who sign up during this Pandemic Discount period,  the course price is $300 off  the regular price!  For the discounted price of only $699, you get over 2 hours of content to help you, 1 hour of bonus content, and 2 hours of coaching calls (normally $350 per hour) for 1-on-1 coaching insights from an experienced entrepreneur who has raised over $1.2 million SBIR dollars!    After the launch period, the course will go back to its regular $999 price.

Course Contents

14 Videos
11 Texts
8 PDFs
4.0 hrs

Course Curriculum

Schedule your 1-on-1 Coaching Calls at any time you are ready for personalized help
Chapter 2: Reviewers Selected and Receive your Proposal
Chapter 3: Reviewer’s Job Before Panel – Individual Review
Chapter 4: Reviewer Orientation “day of” Panel Review
Chapter 5: Panel Discussion and Panel Summary
Chapter 7-8: How to Gauge Proposal Progress and Hints you Have or May be “Recommended for Funding”
Chapter 9: Sailing Down the Yangtze – you have 3 Days! (VentureWrench Hangs in the Balance - A True Life SBIR Story)
Bonus Chapter 2: Tools of the Trade - Elevate your Elevator Pitch!
Bonus Chapter 3 Tools of the Trade - Execute an Amazing Executive Summary