Type: Loan | Category:
Business Loans

Small Business Research Loan

The Small Business Research Loan program provides investments of $75,000 to $250,000 into innovative early-stage life science companies in North Carolina. The program supports:

  1. Business inception and related activities intended to help the company position itself for startup or early-stage funding or partnering.
  2. Research to advance development of commercially viable technologies and products.


For a candidate life science company to be eligible to apply for the Small Business Research Loan, it must meet the minimum criteria below:

  • Have significant operating presence in North Carolina. To establish a significant presence, the company must: (a) maintain its head office (where books and records are kept, taxes are paid, and senior management is located) in North Carolina as reported to the Secretary of State and/or (b) conduct significant research, product development or manufacturing activity in North Carolina.

  • Be engaged in life science research, development or manufacturing to develop a product or technology with commercial potential.

  • Have achieved a robust technical and commercially promising proof-of-principle of its technology for the intended product or application.

  • Have a committed, dedicated management team and a solid business plan.

  • Have a valid license(s) to the relevant core intellectual property expected to be necessary for the company to commercialize its product or technology.

  • Have at least one management team member in North Carolina significantly engaged, dedicating at least 30 hours per week to the company, and focusing on the company as his/her primary employment.

Funding level will be dependent upon company stage. For example, higher leel awards will require the following:

  • A committed, dedicated management team and a solid business plan.

  • Robust technical and commercially promising proof-of-principle of its technology for the intended product or application.

  • Completion all project(s) funded by any previously awarded NCBiotech loan(s).

NCBiotech determines compliance with these requirements in its sole discretion on a case-by-case basis.

Application Process

Companies interested in more information about a Small Business Research Loan program, please complete the interest form. Upon receipt, the program director will contact you to discuss the company, its proposed project and the application procedures. After this discussion, company representatives may be invited to the Biotechnology Center to make an initial presentation.

Pre-Application: Once the applicant’s eligibility and general fit for the program have been established, the company may be invited to submit a pre-application describing the company’s management, technology, proposed project and budget.

Full Application: Upon satisfactory review of the pre-application, the company may be invited to submit a full application. This application will include the company’s complete business plan, project proposal, financial statements and other supporting documentation.

Review and Approval: The investment team will thoroughly review the company’s application and solicit independent, third-party reviewers to help evaluate the technical and commercial merits of the proposal. Competitive applications will be presented to the NCBiotech’s senior leadership and/or a committee of its board of directors for final review and approval.

Application Deadlines:

Pre-Application must be
submitted no later than:
And Full Application
must be submitted by:
For potential review
by EIC in:
November 3, 2017 December 11, 2017 March 2018
February 5, 2018 March 12, 2018 June 2018
May 14, 2018 June 18, 2018 September 2018
August 6, 2018 September 10, 2018 December 2018

Loan Terms

The Small Business Research Loan consist of:

  • A senior, unsecured loan with favorable terms including:
    • Five-year, fixed-term with balloon payment at maturity for principal and accrued interest
    • Interest rate equal to the current prime rate plus 3%
  • A warrant to purchase company stock

Loan Disbursement

Successful applicants will receive the loan funds according to the following schedule:

  • 50% of the loan amount at closing
  • An additional 40% upon receipt and approval of a mid-term project report
  • The final 10% upon receipt and approval of a final project report

Mid-term and final reports (Excel) include a detailed update of progress against proposed milestones with supporting data and actual spending versus budget. The Biotechnology Center will actively monitor the company’s progress until the SRL is repaid in full. Periodic progress reports and occasional site visits will be required.

More Information

If interested in an SRL, please complete the interest form.

Type: Loan | Category:
Business Loans

Small Business Research Loan

Maximum Award: $250,000

Deadline: Quarterly

For questions or more information, contact:
Vivian W. Doelling, Ph.D.
Vice President, Emerging Company Development

Emerging Company Development
919-549-8859 | vivian_doelling@ncbiotech.org