LIFT Associates - SBIR Proposal Consultant
. . . specializing in SBIR proposal development

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Welcome to the About Page of LIFT Associates

Providing SBIR Proposal Development Services Since 1992

LIFT Associates is one of the oldest and most respected SBIR consulting firms in the country. Each client gets unique, personlized atttention specific to their individual needs. LIFT Associates works with both new comers to the SBIR program, as well as experienced proposers.

First Timers

Many good ideas go unfunded because less worthy ones are better presented. Preparing a winning proposal is as much an art as it is a science. In the course of a typical proposal, you must wear many different hats. If you are new to US Government contracting in general, and SBIR proposals in particular, you almost certainly need professional help. As one of the most experienced and successful SBIR participants in the country, LIFT Associates can help you learn how to:

  • Make Bid/No-Bid Decisions. The single most important thing you can do to increase your chances of winning is to select your opportunities carefully. The cost of developing a winning proposal is significant. Time-proven strategies for qualifying potential proposal ideas can help you make better bid/no-bid decisions.
  • Develop Winning "Story Lines." Behind every winning proposal is a good story line. On the grandest scale, the story line relates the proposed innovation to the broad sweep of technological history and inflames the passions of the reviewer. On a more mundane level, the story line relates the proposed innovation to the projected fortunes of the company.
  • Feature The Proposed Innovation. Far and away, the most difficult thing for most proposers is identifying, articulating and presenting the proposed innovation. If you have carefully selected your opportunity and have woven a compelling story line, the battle will be won or lost depending on how well you present your new idea.
  • Develop Practicable Work Plans. Having set an inspiring historical context and persuasively explained the proposed innovation, you must now put on your bureaucratic hat and convince the reviewer that you know how to manage R&D activities. You must break the work into logical, manageable elements, each with a clearly identified milestone.
  • Create Persuasive Commercialization Strategies. It is very difficult to win a Phase-I proposal without a well thought-out commercialization plan; it is virtually impossible to win a Phase-II proposal without one. Long gone are the days when a letter of interest or an endorsement from another firm was sufficient to win an otherwise technically sound proposal.
  • Present The Right "Look And Feel." First impressions are critical. Experienced reviewers cull through the submitted proposals for the dozen or so that merit more careful study. An attractive proposal (i.e.; one that is well written, laid out and illustrated) has a far better chance of "making the cut" than one that is indifferently presented.

As you can imagine, preparing a "winning" proposal has a high opportunity cost. If you are not prepared to take all the steps necessary to prepare a high-quality submission, you would be well advised to invest your limited business development resources elsewhere. On the other hand, if you are committed to making the SBIR Program work for you, LIFT Associates can help. Take a moment and read what one first-time proposer had to say about LIFT Associates: Testimonial of a First-Time SBIR Participant.


Experienced Participants

Even very experienced SBIR participants often rely heavily on outside proposal consultants. They do so, because independent consultants can frequently offer cost-effective solutions to common proposal development needs. Many of LIFT Associates' clients are regular customers for one simple reason: we save them time and money. Even if you are quite familiar with Government contract research, LIFT Associates may be able to help you by:

  • Qualifying Proposal Opportunities. Producing an SBIR proposal is expensive. Qualifying opportunities is important not only for controlling B&P (Bid and Proposal) costs but also for insuring a reliable stream of contract revenues. Implementing and enforcing a Bid/No-Bid process is a critical management tool for firms that rely wholly or partially on contract R&D.
  • Mentoring Technical Staff. Senior scientists often do not have time to train others in the art of writing proposals. Less senior members of the technical staff often represent an untapped resource of talent ripe for developing new proposals. The trick is channel this reservoir of expertise and energy into the production of quality proposals.
  • Providing Professional Advice. In any proposal development activity, issues arise that do not have definitive answers. Whether it is a global one, like setting the story line, or a fairly specific one, like identifying the innovation, experience may be the only guide. Consulting an expert can be the best option if in-house experience is limited.
  • Reviewing Draft Proposals. Independent review is especially critical when highly experienced and/or senior proposers work largely on their own. The old adage, "familiarity breeds contempt," is especially true when it comes to proposals. The pride of authorship can blind even the most experienced proposer to glaring weaknesses in a proposal.

Is LIFT Associates right for you? Only you can say for sure. Take a moment and read what one very experienced proposer had to say about LIFT Associates: Testimonial of a Veteran SBIR Participant. Afterwards, if you think you might be interested, give us a call. We'll be glad to try and answer your questions.


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