(a discussion of this issue)

Because some consultants blatantly advertise it, many potential clients keep asking us "what is your win ratio?" Enough already! That question is NOT a valid one. Here's why:

Contrary to popular belief, good grantsmanship, such as that supplied by our software and/or consulting services, DOES NOT win SBIR or STTR funding. It simply places your proposal or application in the right position (known as the "short list") for serious consideration against all of the other "excellent" proposals -- NOTHING MORE. Yes, in order to win funding you must make it to that short list, thus you pay a consultant to get you there, but not for the win over which they have no control.

In the final analysis then, it is the government's perception of your technology, versus all of the other technologies having made it to the short list, which prompts a funding selection. No consultant, no item of software, no helper has any control of that (unless they have something to do with the technology). When one of our clients wins SBIR/STTR funding, it is not our fault. Moreover, it is not the fault of any other SBIR proposal consultant when their client wins either. Thus, we would beseech these others to quit touting their so called "win record" as a reason to employ them -- we consider that to be false advertising.

Now we know that in many cases, consultants are so popular they can afford to pick and choose with whom they will work. Since they are in a position to pre select (screen) the likely technology winners and only work with them, it stands to reason that they should have considerably higher win ratio's than those serving the "unwashed masses". However, this does not make their support any better, more valid or more valuable. It just makes their use of these inflated win ratios more invalid and allows the unsuspecting to be mislead by such advertising ploys.

Since win ratio is NOT a valid measure of the quality of an SBIR consultant's service, we do not track that parameter -- so don't ask! Having said that, however, we do have ample anecdotal evidence that our clients win just as often as, or more often than, any consultant's in this industry (obviously firms with good technology use our stuff). The hard fact is that the best any SBIR proposal consultant can do for you is to get you onto that short list. And, we hereby claim to do that with ALL of our clients which yields a 100% success ratio, if you will (take that, you mis-users of statistics).

Thank you for allowing us to clear the air and for your understanding of this important issue.

John Davis, General Manager
The SBIR Resource Center(R)