Geopipe Awarded Competitive $750K Grant from the National Science Foundation

Posted by Christopher Mitchell, Ph.D.

America’s Seed Fund Powered by NSF Provides Funding for R&D; Helps small businesses move innovations out of the lab and into the market

New York, NY, May 2019 - Geopipe has been awarded a $750,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant to commercialize its innovative technology. Geopipe uses AI to produce immersive digital twins of the real world for simulation, gaming, architecture, and beyond, and this grant will enable R&D to greatly improve the accuracy, detail, and realism of Geopipe's worlds. Geopipe aims to make it possible for computers to understand every detail of the real world from raw sensor data, then turn that information into semantically rich 3D models. Customers can instantly license these virtual copies of the real world, enriched with what's in the world, not just how it looks. Whether they are in architecture, engineering, and construction, game and VR design, or training personnel and autonomous vehicles, Geopipe permits these customers to avoid the months of manual modeling and tagging work and thousands of dollars of data collection these digital twins require today.

“The National Science Foundation supports startups and small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to become great commercial successes and make huge societal impacts,” said Graciela Narcho, Acting Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “We hope that seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology.”

"Our NSF SBIR Phase I grant was a vital component of building Geopipe to where it is today, from the maturity of our products to the customer discovery that has honed our market and pricing," said Dr. Christopher Mitchell, CEO and cofounder of Geopipe. "This SBIR Phase II grant will allow us to take our technology from a proven-feasible prototype meeting a real commercial need to a commercial product in use by enterprise customers in AEC, gaming, and beyond. And after recently being awarded "SBIR/STTR Recipients of the Year by the NY district office of the US Small Business Administration, we have seen how SBIR support allows us to stand out as a lean, innovative startup."

A view over Geopipe's virtual New York City in the Unity game engine

"Our SBIR Phase II grant will push us through the R&D that will allow us to produce more detailed buildings, more realistic streets and sidewalks, and more accurate worlds," added Dr. Thomas Dickerson, Chief Science Officer and cofounder of Geopipe. "Our current and future customers have a clear and voracious appetite for perfect copies of the real world for simulation, visualization, and interaction, and this grant will allow us to reach major detail milestones in our products. With our venture capital-powered business development and sales efforts, and our NSF-supported R&D, Geopipe has the perfect springboard to accelerate."

Small businesses can receive up to $1.5 million in funding from NSF. Companies must first have received a Phase I award (up to $225,000) to become eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $750,000) to further develop and commercialize the technology. Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales. Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential across almost all areas of technology are encouraged to apply. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process. NSF’s deadlines for Phase I small business proposals occur twice annually, in June and December.

To learn more about the NSF SBIR/STTR program, visit: seedfund.nsf.gov.

About the National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs: America’s Seed Fund powered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) awards nearly $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $1.5 million in non-dilutive funds to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8.4 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.

awards