Andamio Games has landed $1.1 million in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funds from the National Institutes of Health. 

The startup, spun out of Minneapolis-based Adventium Labs, said it will use the money to develop its BrainAware mobile application; an interactive educational tool designed for adolescents and young adults to improve success with substance abuse treatment. 

President Adam Gordon said Andamio Games is collaborating with the Center for Studies of Addiction in the medical school at the University of Pennsylvania and that “upon successful completion of the project, we will partner with Hazelden Publishing to distribute the product to treatment facilities across the country.”

More small business innovators should seek SBIR federal funds as Congress this year has allocated almost $3 billion for the program, according to Pat Dillion, program director for MN-SBIR, based at the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA). She calls it “America’s seed fund.”

“We need more high quality research proposals from startup and existing businesses across Minnesota to tap into this great source of funding that can impact our future economy,” Dillon said. 

The $3 billion in federal funds are available through SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) programs. Small businesses have opportunities to apply for funds from federal agencies that call for innovative ideas with commercial potential across the  science, technology, engineering and mathematics.   

More than $600 million invested in fledgling Minnesota firms over the last 35 years has resulted in more than $1.5 billion-plus in economic output in the state and about 800 high-paying jobs. The small firms often license technology developed by the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic and other research hubs.

Dillon works with companies on applications to the federal-funding agencies.

Companies don’t have to concede equity to get funded. Only about 15 percent of applicants get funding.

At least two Minnesota firms that received SBIR grants eventually grew to be publicly owned companies: NVE Corp. and SurModics.

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