Wicked Co-op, LCA Awarded $1,000,000 from the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research Program

NEWS: Socialroots is thrilled to announce that we have funding to work on our effective collaboration tool and platform from "America’s Seed Fund" powered by the NSF. We are the first cooperative to gain funding through this program.

a year ago   •   2 min read

By Socialroots

Seattle, WA, September 7th, 2021

Wicked Co-op LCA is now the first cooperative to be awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant through "America's Seed Fund". Originally the NSF's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, this Phase II grant includes $1,000,000 to conduct research and development (R&D) work on software infrastructure needed to enable decentralized coordination across group nodes in multi-entity projects. Wicked Co-op is a worker-owned LCA (limited cooperative association) building the Socialroots platform.

By building an inter-group relationship data protocol and data sifting algorithm, we hope to connect the “social network of productivity” to increase the rate of innovation. By compartmentalizing info packets into these permissions structures we can more easily integrate with decentralized and distributed ledger web protocols and technologies. This addresses a need that matches how groups work together in reality, and fills a market gap in tools that allow for cross-group coordination.

“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, Division Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”

“Decentralized coordination is the problem of our time. Everything from climate change to social change to innovation is fundamentally a problem of large scale, efficient decentralized coordination.”

- Ana Jamborcic, co-founder

Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $256,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II (up to $1,000,000). Small businesses with Phase II funding are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.

NSF accepts Phase I proposals from small businesses at any time. Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential are encouraged to apply. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program, also known as America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, undergo a rigorous merit-based review process.


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