1:1 Appointments

1:1 Agency Appointments

U.S. Army Research Office - Nicole Fox

The vision of the Office of Small Business Programs at the Army Research Office is to be the premier advocacy organization committed to maximizing small business opportunities in support of the Army’s basic extramural research programs.

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) - Dr. Orlando Lopez or Gabriel Hidalgo

The mission of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) is to improve dental, oral, and craniofacial health. The agency performs and supports basic, translational, and clinical research.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

This Spring 2021, NASA announced the selection of 365 small business proposals to receive a total of more than $45 million for its 2021 SBIR/STTR Phase I awards. The selected recipients include 289 small businesses—27% of which are from underrepresented groups, including women-owned and minority-owned small businesses—as well as 47 research institutions, 19% of which are classified as Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). The selected proposals span the breadth of NASA missions in aeronautics, human exploration, science, and space technology, with the chosen recipients hailing from 38 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - April Richards or Maggie Dietrick

The EPA’s SBIR program focuses on developing and commercializing innovative technologies that address the Agency’s mission of protecting human health and the environment. EPA topic areas include air and climate, water, green manufacturing, and homeland security.

U.S. Department of Energy - Eileen Chant

The mission of the DOE SBIR/STTR Programs Office is to manage the administration and evaluation of about 2,000 Phase I and Phase II grant applications each year.  The annual budget of the DOE SBIR/STTR programs is $205M and enables the DOE to award approximately 400 Phase I and II grants every year.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)/ National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) - Kelly McDonald or Melinda Coffman

NIFA — a federal agency within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) — is part of USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area. The agency administers federal funding to address the agricultural issues impacting people’s daily lives and the nation’s future. NIFA programs propel cutting-edge discoveries from research laboratories to farms, classrooms, communities, and back again.

The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) - Brian Bard

NIDILRR is the federal government’s primary disability research agency. It’s mission is to generate new knowledge and to promote its effective use to improve the abilities of individuals with disabilities to perform activities of their choice in the community, and to expand society’s capacity to provide full opportunities and accommodations for its citizens with disabilities.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) - Mindy Bixby

The mission of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) is to ensure that every person is born healthy and wanted, that women suffer no harmful effects from the reproductive process, that all children have the chance to fulfill their potential to live healthy and productive lives free from disease or disability and to ensure the health, productivity, independence, and well-being of all people through optimal rehabilitation.

FLC - Jennifer Stewart

Jennifer Stewart is NSWC Corona ORTA Technology Transfer (T2)/SBIR Program Manager and FLC Laboratory Representative with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division.

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) - Kristopher Bough

The mission of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) is to promote and improve the health of individuals, families, and communities. To achieve its mission, NINR supports research and research training through grants and fellowships. Part of the NINR Division of Extramural Science Programs (DESP), NINR Program Directors are scientists who oversee the conduct of research programs within specific science areas.

U. S. Department of Education - Edward Metz

The U.S. Department of Education’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, operated out of its research arm, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), provides up to $1,100,000 in funding to small businesses and partners for research and development to translate their innovative ideas into commercial products that address educational problems in education and special education.

U. S. Force Research Labs (AFRL) - Academic Partnership Engagement Experiment (APEX) - Kathleen Gilpin

We are the Academic Partnership Engagement Experiment – a U.S. Air Force Partnership Intermediary through Wright State Applied Research Corporation and supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory Small Business Office. Our team is comprised of serial entrepreneurs, retired military members, scientists, academic researchers, and former U.S. Department of Defense executive leaders.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) - Jennifer Thabet

For sixty years, DARPA has held to a singular and enduring mission: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security. Working with innovators inside and outside of government, DARPA has repeatedly delivered on that mission, transforming revolutionary concepts and even seeming impossibilities into practical capabilities.

U. S. Navy Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) The Naval-X SoCal Tech Bridge

The U.S. Department of the Navy’s NavalX Tech Bridges are focused on increasing collaboration, knowledge sharing, and innovation with leading-edge tech companies and innovation partners to accelerate solutions to the warfighter. The NavalX Tech Bridges are a connected network that enhances collaboration between Naval Labs, industry, academia, and other military branches to unlock emerging technology through non-traditional partnerships. These collaborative efforts amongst strategic partners within the region are the foundation for a better business model unlocking the future of Department of Defense research and development, requirements development, and prototyping.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) - Ann Marie Brasile Mejac or Stephanie Davis

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) provides global leadership for a research, training, and education program to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood disorders and enhance the health of all individuals so that they can live longer and more fulfilling lives. The NHLBI Small Business Program supports research and development by US-owned and operated small businesses on innovative and commercially promising products to prevent, diagnose, and treat heart, lung, and blood-related diseases and disorders.

Partnerships for Innovation (PFI), Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP), Directorate of Engineering, National Science Foundation - Katie Bratlie

The Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) Program within the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) offers researchers from all disciplines of science and engineering funded by NSF the opportunity to perform translational research and technology development, catalyze partnerships, and accelerate the transition of discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace for societal benefit.

National Science Foundation (NSF) - Ben Schrag

The NSF has helped startups and small businesses transform their ideas into marketable products and services. The agency focuses on high-risk, high-impact technologies — those that show promise but whose success has not yet been validated. Each year, the NSF awards $200 million in funding to entrepreneurs across the country. Its goals are to foster innovation and help create businesses and jobs in the United States.

National Institute of Neurologic Diseases (NINDS)

- Natalie Trzcinski, PhD

The mission of NINDS is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. To support this mission, NINDS supports and performs basic, translational, and clinical neuroscience research through grants-in-aid, contracts, scientific meetings, and through research in its own laboratories, and clinics; funds and conducts research training and career development programs to increase basic, translational and clinical neuroscience expertise and ensure a vibrant, talented, and diverse work force, and promotes the timely dissemination of scientific discoveries and their implications for neurological health to the public, health professionals, researchers, and policy-makers.


Apply for a 1:1 agency official appointment below. Due to high demand and limits on available time please help ensure that as many individuals as possible can meet with Program Directors. Do not make more than one agency appointment. Filling the form below will not guarantee you a meeting with an agency member. You will be notified when your appointment has been confirmed. Each 1:1 agency meeting is limited to fifteen minutes, so you need to be prepared in advance with specific questions. Read “Preparing for an Effective One-on-One Meeting” as a guide for a productive session.

Preparing for an Effective Program Director Meeting

Contact Us

Martin Kleckner III PhD MBA
University of California, Riverside – EPIC SBDC
Office of Technology Partnerships
900 University Avenue, Suite 245, Riverside, CA 92521
Direct: (619) 892-2565 /

Misty Madero, MPA
Principal Contract & Grant Officer
University of California, Riverside Research and Economic Development
T: 951-827-2210 | F: 951-827-4483

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In Partnership With

SBIRCON2021 Agency Appointments

Mike Daniel is the network director of the Orange County Inland Empire SBDC Network, which assists aspiring entrepreneurs and current business owners throughout Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Mike was formerly the director of the SBDC office at Long Beach City College. As business owner and entrepreneur himself, he started his career as the owner of a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory location in Manhattan Beach and went on to open a second location in Long Beach in 2001. In 2007, Mike sold the Manhattan Beach store for an above-market offer then invested in several additional locations as a minority shareholder. Mike further expanded his candy empire with venture located in Shoreline Village in Long Beach called Sugar Daddies Sweet Shoppe, based on fill-it yourself candy options.

Mike has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton.