Now that it has been over a week since the government shutdown, the public is starting to realize just how prominent a role our nation’s leaders play. Not only has the shutdown affected local tourist attractions, university research and the Panda Cam at the National Zoo, it has also delayed the funding for startup companies that receive financial assistance from universities.
Richard Ranky, founder and CEO of 3-Spark, has experienced the effects of the government shutdown directly. His company, which makes 3D printing more accessiblethrough circuit boards and sensors, receives funding from Ranky’s alma mater, Northeastern University.
“They play a large role and we would not have gotten this far without them,” Ranky told BostInno, referencing Northeastern. 3-Spark, which officially formed in September 2012, initially received $100,000 from Northeastern. Since then, the company has continued to look for funding through government grants, private investors, accelerators and “anywhere we can find funding” Ranky said.
3-Spark applied for a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research grant in June and official review started September 10. SBIR grants are one of multiple classes of grants that are available through the NSF. According to the SBIR website, these grants do not require, but do encourage, partnership with a research institution. 3-Spark has chosen to subcontract to Northeastern. Unfortunately, the review has slammed to a halt thanks to the government shutdown.