How Orlando startups can get federal dollars to fund ‘crazy ideas’

A Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the Department of Defense nearly a decade ago enabled Simetri Inc., then a young modeling and simulation firm, to buy its first 3D printer and hire its first full-time mechanical engineer. 

It took three tries and attending a class at the University of Central Florida before Simetri landed an award, founder, president and CEO Angela Alban told Orlando Inno. However, Alban said it was more than worth it considering the money, opportunity and…