SBIR Hall of Fame

The SBIR Hall of Fame, started in 2011, recognizes previous SBIR awardees with a long period of extraordinary success in research, innovation, and commercialization within the SBIR program.  

Hall of Fame Eligibility

For the SBIR Hall of Fame, nominees must be previous SBIR awardees that have contributed significantly to the program’s goals over a period of time through their work.  

Any individual who owns and operates or who bears principal responsibility for operating a business that received an SBIR Phase I and II award may be nominated.  Partners who jointly own and operate a business may be nominated as a “team,” so long as the number of individuals in the team nomination does not exceed four.  Nominees must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its territories at least 18 years of age and will be subject to background checks. Businesses owned and operated by nominees must comply with federal civil rights laws.  Nominees may have previously received a Tibbetts Award, although receipt of a Tibbetts Award is not required.

Hall of Fame Evaluation/Selection Criteria

Anyone can nominate a business for the SBIR Hall of Fame Award – however self-nominations are not allowed.  Also, a business may not apply for both a Tibbetts and Hall of Fame award in the same year.
The criteria for evaluating a business for the Hall of Fame Awards are:

  • Technical innovation – e.g., how the technical innovation has advanced national priorities in R&D, how the technical innovation has benefited the federal government or private citizens.  
  • Business impact - e.g., job creation and retention, revenue growth, successful acquisition or financial exit.  
  • Broader social and economic benefit – e.g., encouraging women and minority participation in R&D, supporting regional economic development, creating connections to local universities. 
  • Degree of impact – e.g., a large IPO event, creation of a significant number of new jobs, acquisition by larger firm.  
  • Longevity – e.g., the company should be well established and have exited from the SBIR program several years ago
Hall of Fame Selection Process

All nominations will be screened for eligibility. Eligible nominations will be evaluated by a panel of judges selected by SBA in its sole discretion.  Each judge will serve on a volunteer basis and be screened to ensure he/she does not have a personal or financial interest in or a familial relationship with any nominee.  The judges will review all nominations and provide a recommendation to SBA. 

Tibbetts Award winners will be selected by SBA based on the recommendations of a panel of judges. The winners will be announced in [April?]  at a date and time to be determined by the SBA.    A maximum of 10 Hall of Fame winners will be selected. 


Participation in the Competition constitutes consent to SBA’s and its agents’ use of Tibbetts award winners’ and/or nominators’ name, likeness, photograph, opinions, and/or hometown and state for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration.