Catalysts for Change: The Role of Small Business Funders in the Creation and Dissemination of Innovation

J Autism Dev Disord. 2015 Dec;45(12):3900-4. doi: 10.1007/s10803-015-2636-x.


A gap exists between the expanding space of technological innovations to aid those affected by autism spectrum disorders, and the actual impact of those technologies on daily lives. This gap can be addressed through a very practical path of commercialization. However, the path from a technological innovation to a commercially viable product is fraught with challenges. These challenges can be mitigated through small business funding agencies, which are, more and more, catalyzing the dissemination of innovation by fostering social entrepreneurship through capital support and venture philanthropy. This letter describes the differences and nature of these agencies, and their importance in facilitating the translational and real-world impact of technological and scientific discoveries.

Keywords: Business; Commercialization; Funding; Innovation; Technology; Translational science; Venture philanthropy.

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / economics*
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / rehabilitation
  • Diffusion of Innovation*
  • Humans
  • Small Business*