Zyante, the company that produces zyBooks, has been awarded a Small Business
Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Phase II grant by the National Science
Foundation. The award, in the Education Application category, is the result of a
rigorously competitive application process and is indicative of the innovative work being
done on zyBooks. Fewer than 10% of companies who apply for NSF’s SBIR program
are awarded a Phase II grant.
The Phase II award is based on zyBooks’ continued development of a webbased
authoring framework for universitylevel STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)
content via curated crowdsourcing in an animated, interactive format.
Under the zyBooks curatedcrowdsourcing model, which differs significantly from
traditional crowdsourcing, a core author/editor team creates the initial content, requiring
little upfront investment. The community then adopts the content and contributes items
under the core team’s curation, with the core team serving as a means of editing and
streamlining the content. In this way, curated crowdsourced content cannot only
dramatically improve content, but it can also reduce creation/maintenance costs.
Per Smita Bakshi, zyBooks CEO: “The zyBooks team is thrilled to be recognized by the
award of this prestigious grant.” This grant will, Bakshi continues, “allow [zyBooks] to
build out our authoring platform so that more authors can efficiently create interactive
The SBIR Program provides an opportunity for the best of the best in science and
technological innovation to commercialize and expand to the next level. Sponsored and
administered by the National Science Foundation, Phase I and Phase II grants require
grantees to successfully provide a battery of applications, proposals, and datadriven
findings to show why their proposal, out of all the innovations on the market, shows real
opportunity to transform scientific discovery into lasting societal and economic benefit
and commercial success.
Zyante was awarded the Phase I grant in July 2013