I have the distinct pleasure of working with the National Science Foundation (NSF) in its Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program.
This is an excellent program for small technology savvy companies to present/submit technology ideas for funding. The first phase award from the NSF SBIR program is $150K and the second phase award is $500K.
If you have a small technology firm or perhaps you work for a college/university this is an excellent place to start to validate your technology, receive initial funding, and possible marketing and venture capital support http://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/sbir/
Feel free to contact me and or post comments to receive insight and/or additional information on this exciting program.