Local Resources to Help You Work w/ the Federal Government

San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center (SBDC) 

SoCal Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) 

Hosted by

SBIR@Connect in Partnership with NAVWAR and NIWC Pacific

Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, NAVWAR
Through a partnership with the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, NIWC Pac, SBIR@Connect hopes to promote economic growth in our region by fostering connections between government, industry, and academia.

SBIR@Connect is excited to highlight procurement resources in our region. We understand the importance of federal contracts that exist outside of the SBIR/STTR program. This workshop will serve as a way for our community to learn about two different resources available to those interested in working with the federal government. Join us to meet representatives from the San Diego & Imperial  Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network and the SoCal Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) to learn more about each of their programs and resources!

Tuesday, August 30th, 2022
1pm – 2pm PST

cropped SDI ColorBand Logo512x512The San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network is primarily funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration via a cooperative agreement and the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development via grants. Southwestern Community College is the agreement and grant holder for the San Diego & Imperial SBDC Network and provides significant support as well.

The San Diego & Imperial SBDC Network provides a vast array of no- and low- cost support to entrepreneurs and small businesses through their nine locations/sub-contractors:

    • North San Diego SBDC (MiraCosta College) in Carlsbad
    • Imperial Valley SBDC (County of Imperial) in Imperial
    • East County SBDC (East County Economic Development Council) in El Cajon
    • South San Diego SBDC (Southwestern College) in National City
    • Alliance SBDC (Asian Business Association of San Diego with the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce) in Kearny Mesa
    • International Rescue Committee SBDC in City Heights
    • The Brink SBDC at the University of San Diego, a specialty SBDC for innovation-based companies
    • Connect SBDC, a specialty SBDC for innovation-based companies
    • Export SBDC at the World Trade Center San Diego, a specialty SBDC for companies expanding to international markets

The SBDC’s top priority is to empower small business creation and growth to achieve job creation and retention, capital investments, and dynamic innovation that improves the quality of life in San Diego and Imperial counties. Learn more here.



PTAC logo

The SoCal Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is an economic development program of Southwestern College that spans across the San Diego, Orange, and Imperial regions. The SoCal PTAC is partially funded by the City of San Diego Small Business Enhancement Program, other local government agencies, prime contractors and the Department of Defense*.

Their mission is to assist small businesses with the information, resources, and technical assistance they need to effectively compete for and perform on federal, state, and local government contracts. This assistance is provided at no cost to the small business owner.

PTAC has assisted small businesses in winning over $2.0 billion in government contracts. Small businesses (as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration) located in San Diego, Orange, or Imperial counties that sell products/services purchased by a government agency are welcome to apply for services. If your business is located outside of the San Diego, Orange, or Imperial counties, please click here to find your local PTAC.

Learn more about their services here and view their FY 2020 Annual Report or Fact Sheet.

Workshop Agenda:

1300-1305:  Intro
1305-1325: Cheryl Brown, North San Diego SBDC
1325-1345: Mike Sabellico, SoCal PTAC
1345-1400: Q&A

Learning Objectives:

Local resources – what programs are out there?

Procurement – how can I work with the federal government?

Meet the Speakers

Cheryl Brown

Cheryl Brown

North San Diego SBDC Advisor

Cheryl Brown has been an advisor with the North San Diego SBDC since 2007 as an expert in government procurement. She’s counseled over 3,000 small businesses resulting in over $700,000,000 awarded contracts. As a small business owner herself, she brings a practical approach to counseling, moving small businesses forward through every step to achieve their goals. Her personal mission is to help small business owners create a better life for their families and the families they employ.

Cheryl has a bachelor’s in entrepreneurship as well as an MBA. She was awarded the Forbes School of Business and Technology Entrepreneurship Scholarship. She’s also a certified Small Business Consultant from the Association of Accredited Small Business Consultants among other certifications and academic achievements. She was awarded the 2018 SBA District Director’s Award for Mission Support, 2012 ASBDC State Star for the San Diego & Imperial SBDC Network, the 2010 SBA Women in Business Champion, and has earned certificates of recognition from senators, members of congress, assembly members, and San Diego County supervisors.

Mike Sabellico

Mike Sabellico

Interim Regional Director for the San Diego, Orange, & Imperial PTAC

Mike Sabellico has served as a part time consultant, full time Senior Procurement Advisor and now is the Interim Regional Director of the PTAC.  He is a versatile executive management professional and has over 30 years of diverse work experience in leading programs, managing multi-million-dollar budgets and assets, and improving quality and processes. He is a twenty-year Veteran of the US Coast Guard with several Command Cadre tours. During his time with the Coast Guard, he gained a significant amount of experience in Maritime and Emergency Response, ranging from Search and Rescue and Maritime counter smuggling efforts to hurricane and natural disaster response. After leaving the Coast Guard, he managed a robust business development program for a San Diego based defense contractor with offices throughout the US. He left that company in 2010 to launch Vanguard Global Solutions, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business specializing in Homeland Security, Emergency Preparedness, and specialized business consulting focusing on marketing, growth strategy, certifications, and sales. Mike is a hands-on program manager with an impressive ability to coalesce diverse technical and management skill sets within a team environment to achieve desired results. His government contracting experience in multiple industries provides an exceptional understanding and knowledge base into the challenges faced by small business owners entering government contracting.

Gretel re sized

Gretel von Son

Connect SBIR/STTR Director

Gretel von Son is the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Director at Connect, a position created to support the SBIR/STTR Program by helping make connections between government, industry and academia, more accessible. Gretel previously supported the NAVWAR SBIR/STTR Program Office, and has experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. She has published work in Advanced Materials, ACS Nano and Nature Communications. Gretel has earned a Bachelor’s in Chemistry, and a Master’s in Business Administration.


SBIR@Connect aims to drive innovation through collaboration with government agencies.

In partnership with the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (NIWC Pac), SBIR@Connect hopes to promote economic growth in our region by fostering connections between government, industry, and academia. 

The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Program aims to bring non-dilutive funding to eligible companies to help address government research and development needs, while striving for innovation and the commercialization of products/efforts. Although there are multiple agencies that participate in the SBIR/STTR Program, the DoD makes up a large percentage of participation. SBIR@Connect’s partnership focuses on the Navy, specifically, the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, NAVWAR.

To boost interactions and promote collaboration — SBIR@Connect is developing a set of workshops introducing the various programs and opportunities to work with the Navy.

For more information, please visit the SBIR@Connect page or contact us below.