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National Science Foundation Awards $750,000 Grant

The National Science Foundation awards about 400 individual grants per year, totaling more than $190 million a year, to small businesses. The NSF program supports small businesses in all areas of science and technology. One San Diego-based small business called ThoughtSTEM received a $750,000 grant award earlier this month through the foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research program.
The company created an online game called Minecraft that helps students learn computer coding principles. The game also allows students to explore science, engineering and history by letting them create, build and explore virtual worlds using 3-D.

In addition to the recent $750,000 grant, ThoughtSTEM received a $150,000 award from NSF’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) in 2015 which helped the company develop a prototype of the software and test it on students who produced more than 1.5 million Minecraft modifications.

Applicants who receive a SBIR grant in the initial phase I investment can be awarded up to $225,000 and can receive up to $750,000 through a second, phase II grant. In phase II, companies can receive a supplemental grant of up to $500,000, to match other investments the company might receive. For more information on National Science Foundation funding areas, due dates, and how to apply, visit


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