Last month I received the first payment on my first gov research contract, which finally put us back on track for being financially viable. Another payment or two and we'll be off the rosters for public assistance, meaning we need to figure out what insurance to purchase. I'm honestly looking forward to that. These days there are many lining up for public assistance because of job losses or cutbacks. I'll be happy to step aside. This is the first and only time in my life that I have dipped into the public coffers where I normally put my tax dollars. I hope it shall also be the last.
Last week, I filed the second of three status reports. Word I got a few weeks ago is that this second one will be the basis for their decision whether to award me transitional funding (an additional 6 months), so I poured a great deal into the report. I ended up preparing some preliminary proofs-of-concept that I had promised for the end of the first six month period. I'm pretty confident moving forward. Hopefully they'll see the merit in my proofs as well. In any case, I should know by the end of January at the latest whether my firm will receive an additional 6 months of funding. That'd be great.
The next step is working on getting the 2 year contract from them. There are three firms in this first round. Only one or two of us will get the second round funding, to deliver the end product. Meantime, I'm looking to prepare new proposals in the first few months of 2009, for other projects. I've got a couple proposals outstanding. They're just abstract sort of proposals, so a thumbs-up merely means they'd like me to prepare a fuller proposal. In addition, I've got several other irons in the fire.
I'll be meeting with several deans and faculty at a local state university sometime in January, to discuss prospects for a major initiative that I hope to play a big role in. This meeting is the culmination of a meeting I had in the end of November with the head of research on campus. I've also got several more ideas for research proposals to a few more agencies and departments for grants and contracts.
If the supplemental six-month funding comes through, I'll be ready to start thinking about hiring. It still won't really be enough in itself to support another full-time employee. But I'll be needing to budget time and energy to preparing new proposals. I'm really almost off the ground. It's still a start-up, so it might all come crashing back down to earth. It's best not to expect success at every step. Rather, it's wise to anticipate next steps, with or without a crash landing.
Mostly, I just wanted to say, all is well.