SANTA ANA, Calif.–The U.S. Small Business Administration, Orange County / Inland Empire District Office has selected Eric E. Schmidt, president and Kevin Mahaffy, CEO of Exquadrum, Inc. to be recognized as the 2019 SBIR/STTR Grant Recipient of the Year.

Exquadrum, Inc. is a research and development engineering company that develops and demonstrates new rocket propulsion and munitions technologies for the Department of Defense, NASA, and commercial space. It is organized and equipped to accomplish all stages of product development including product invention, design, analysis, fabrication and testing.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.

In 2012, Schmidt and Mahaffy were awarded an SBIR contract to develop advanced rocket propulsion technology under a NASA contract. The contract evolved and was refined through further funding combined with SBIR support culminating in a $15.1 million prime contract to develop a hypersonic boost glide delivery propulsion system.With the SBIR/STTR program, Exquadrum, Inc. has been able to progressively and incrementally improve the rocket and space technologies, capturing the attention of the DOD, NASA, and the commercial space industry.

Schmidt and Mahaffy are proud to have created a thriving engineering company that provides advanced technology solutions to protect the country. Exquadrum, Inc. has been running for more than 16 years and supports 40employees. The company’s key employees have more than 130 years of combined experience and a collective total of 15 patents. Additionally, Schmidt and Mahaffy were recognized in 2013 as a runner-up to the Orange County / Inland Empire District Small Business Person(s) of the Year and were awarded the prestigious SBIR Tibbets award in 2014.

As lifelong residents of the High Desert, Schmidt and Mahaffy are dedicated to giving back to their community. Exquadrum, Inc. is involved in community education programs and recently initiated a Victor Valley high school intern program allowing students to experience life as an engineer.Schmidt is actively engaged with Cal Poly Pomona’s Aerospace Engineering Action Council and has served as the president of the Victor Valley College Foundation for three years.

Eric E. Schmidt and Kevin Mahaffy will be recognized and receive their award as the 2019SBIR/STTR Grant Recipient of the Year at the local Small Business Week Awards program to be held Friday,June7from 10:30 a.m. until approximately 2 p.m. at the Disneyland Hotel Grand Ballroom. For more information on the event, email events@ochcc.comor call (949) 891-1464.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and is a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses, and recover from disasters. Through an extensive networkof field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. To learn more about SBA, visit

About the Orange County / Inland Empire District Office
The Orange County / Inland Empire District Office, under the leadership and vision of J. Adalberto Quijada, District Director, is responsible for the delivery of SBA programs and services in the Southern California counties of Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino. Located in Santa Ana near John Wayne Airport, the office and its staff facilitate understanding and access to SBA loan programs; coordinate and conduct hundreds of training sessions and special events annually such as matchmaking forums and loan workshops; and manage a portfolio of nearly100 businesses enrolled in the agency’s 8(a) business development program.