Synaptek Awarded NSF Grant for Novel Concussion Care Tech

Synaptek awarded $216,000 NSF grant to conduct R&D work on novel technology that will improve concussion diagnosis and rehabilitation strategies.

We are thrilled to announce that Synaptek has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $216,000 to conduct research and development (R&D) work on novel technology that will improve concussion diagnosis and rehabilitation strategies. The project is being led by our CEO and concussion researcher Dr. Kate Van Pelt with help from co-founders Dr. Doug Van Pelt, James McCollum, and other concussion experts.

The innovative technology will provide a more accurate and sensitive method for clinicians to track patient concussion symptoms and improve recovery trajectories. Symptom tracking is a key component of multidimensional concussion assessment that is recommended and adopted by medical and sports organizations worldwide, including, but not limited to, the NCAA, National Athletic Trainer’s Association, NHL, NFL, NBA, and MLB. With 3.8 million sports-related concussions occurring each year, there is significant potential for this technology to help clinicians and vastly improve athlete healthcare.

The application for SBIR grants is highly competitive with only 15% of applicants receiving approval of grant funding. Startups or entrepreneurs who submit a three-page Project Pitch will know within one month if they meet the program’s objectives to support innovative technologies that show promise of commercial and/or societal impact and involve a level of technical risk. Once the Project pitch is accepted a full proposal can be submitted to undergo a rigorous merit-based review process that determines whether the grant is deemed fundable. 

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. 

We attribute some of our success to being a Kentucky-based company as the state of Kentucky leads the way in supporting SBIR applicants and awardees. KY Innovation has supported our efforts throughout the application process and provided resources to assist in the grant submission process. We also plan to apply for their SBIR/STTR Matching Funds Award Program, which is designed to award matching funds to for-profit, Kentucky based companies that have been granted Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Federal Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) grants. A 2021 Fall solicitation window for Matching Funds is expected to open August 30, 2021 and close Oct 25th, 2021.

Our R&D efforts supported by the NSF will contribute to Synaptek’s ultimate mission to revolutionize concussion care and improve athlete well-being. 


About Synaptek: Synaptek provides the ultimate app for managing concussion care. The platform makes concussion care easy by streamlining concussion testing and data management for medical professionals. Find out more and schedule a demo today at Contact Synaptek at

About the National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs: America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $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 $2 million 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 $8.5 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. To learn more about America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit:

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