🦄 Unicorner Startup of the Week: TurboSBIR
 ✍️ Notes From The Editors  
Let us paint a scene for you: you’re sitting on a Zoom call with thousands of people joining in from around the world. There’s a tight agenda. The speaker you’re listening to changes every minute. Names and faces become a blur as you listen to these compressed stories for hours. And just as quickly as it started, it ends. This sums up Y Combinator’s Demo Day.
Some trends to point out at YC’s 35th Demo Day: almost half the number of companies as the last cohort (402 to 229), a return to in-person with a remote-friendly option, and B2B/Enterprise SaaS being the largest industry of funded companies (39%). Take a look at some of the companies we liked during S22 Demo Day.
 - Arek and Ethan 🦄
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Bringing non-dilutive federal funding to startups
SBIR, or Small Business Innovation Research, grants, are non-dilutive grants provided by the U.S. government. TurboSBIR is essentially the “TurboTax for SBIR grants.” It enables startups to access funding through grants using Artificial Intelligence/Natural Language Processing algorithms and other services.
🔗 Check them out: turbosbir.com
💰 Business Model
TurboSBIR has a range of models from low-cost upfront models to contingency-based support (i.e. pay only if you win the grant) for access to both software and grant-writing services. Options for white-glove service or enterprise plans for larger organizations, such as accelerators and investors, are also available.
📈 Traction and Fundraising
  • Raised $1.3 million seed from Govtech Fund, General Inception, Longley Capital, Launch Factory, and Keshif Ventures, among others, and $1 million in non-dilutive funding through the Air Force and other organizations
  • Graduated from accelerators such as EvoNexus and Capital Factory
  • Partnered with multiple state-funded organizations to provide startup grant/contract support to their ecosystems
👫 Founders
  • Rupak Doshi, CEO: Previously Research Scientist @ InhibRx, Postdoctoral Researcher @ UCSD and Scripps Research Institute, Pharmacology & Biochemistry PhD @ University of Cambridge, Translational Medicine Master of Research @ University of Manchester, Biotechnology BS @ Vellore Institute of Technology
  • Norman Huang, CTO: Previously Founder @ EatSafe, Bioengineering PhD & BS @ UCSD
💼 Opportunities
From the TurboSBIR team:
  • "We are always looking for high-quality and enthusiastic engineers (data science, devops, database management, full-stack development) and scientists (AI/NLP, computer science, aerospace, defense, materials research, deep tech etc.) who like learning and working with new technologies. If interested, email your resume and interests to Rupak@Omnisync.io" - mention you came from Unicorner!
🔮 Our Analysis
With our Unicorner company covers, we’ve often highlighted venture-backed companies. Traditionally, becoming venture-backed has been considered a large milestone for high-growth startup companies, and VC funding has helped accelerate the success of companies such as Airbnb, Doordash, and many more. Our name, Unicorner, even comes from the belief that we are discovering the next “unicorns,” a VC term that describes private companies with valuations of $1 billion. However, recently we’ve seen new funding methods for companies, such as crowdfunding. TurboSBIR is offering yet another alternative to founders in the form of grants. While these grants are not new, the TurboTax-like convenience of avoiding the headaches of manually dealing with government documents is. Such applications are easy to make mistakes on that can decrease the amount of the grants or even result entirely in a rejection. We’re impressed by the service, and are happy to use our platform to highlight any and all pathways early-stage founders can take to find success.
📚 Further Reading
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🎁 Bonus Content!
In the world of tools empowering startups, insurance for startups in the case of lawsuits or claims is something that’s often overlooked. Our friends at Vouch sent us a tool that can check whether your startup is at risk of a lawsuit in under two minutes. We thought it was pretty cool, and wanted to share it with you. Check it out here!
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