Startup grants are perfect for any startup that may be struggling to get funding. We have everything you need to know about the grants and how to get them!
Having a great idea for a new business, product, or service, but not having the funds you need to get your idea off the ground, can be a frustrating experience.
After all, most business ideas have overheads. Even ones that involve launching websites or creating digital products.
Maybe your overhead is the time it takes you to produce your product, which means time away from your paying job. Or its expenses like professional web design and a URL, the costs can add up fast.
If you don’t have capital of your own to invest in your idea, it can feel like your idea will never be more than just that.
Luckily, there is a solution. Startup grants can help give you the funds you need to turn your ideas into actions. Keep reading to learn what these grants are, and where you can find them.
What are Startup Grants?
Startup grants are funds set aside by the state, federal, or local government, or by private corporations, for the purpose of helping individuals start their own small business.
Some grants are reserved for certain types of businesses, such as small local businesses or those in certain industries. Others are available for launching any type of business.
Because these grants come from different areas and are designed for different purposes, they vary in amounts. Some may be enough to cover all of the expenses associated with starting a business, while others are designed to boost existing funds.
Where Can You Find a Startup Grant?
Depending on the type of grant you’re looking for, there are several different places that you can start looking for them. Below is a list of the types of grants available, and where you can find them.
Perhaps the best place to find grants set up by government agencies is Grants.gov. This website features a database of grants funded by various agencies. You can easily search grants by purpose, amount, or deadlines.
If your startup idea involves technology development or scientific research, another great source for finding federal grants is the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. These programs help to support small, for-profit businesses making advancements in these areas.
Another option for finding funding through the federal government is GovLoans. While this website doesn’t provide information about grants, it can help connect you to government loans that can help you cover the costs of starting your business.
The United States Department of Commerce provides grants at the state level to help small business owners.
To find these grants, visit the Economic Development Administration, or EDA’s, website. There you’ll find information about grants, as well as about other resources and assistance available to small business owners.
At the local level, the government provides Small Business Development Centers. At these centers, you can get help connecting with grants available locally to help you launch your startup.
There are local Small Business Development Centers in cities across the U.S. To find the one closest to you, visit the organization’s website for a list of locations.
Grants from Corporations
The government is far from the only source for finding startup grants. A variety of private corporations also offer grants to small business and entrepreneurs, often as part of a community outreach and development program.
LendingTree, the loan and financial corporation, for example, offers a $50,000 grant to small businesses that are struggling to grow and succeed.
Other private grants include Miller Lite’s “Tap the Future” grant, which is a live-pitch competition that gives twenty-five small businesses in five cities the chance to compete to win a $20,000 grant. The five winning businesses then get the chance to compete to win an additional grant worth $100,000.
Each year, FedEx hosts a similar competition in which 10 businesses receive a grant worth up to $25,000, as well as an additional $7,500 worth of FedEx office supplies.
Countless other corporations and businesses offer grants and grant competitions like these. To find them, start by searching for grants related to the industry that your startup would fit best in.
What Do You Need to Apply for a Grant?
Once you’ve found startup grants that you want to apply for, the real work begins. You’ll need to compile a variety of materials to showcase your startup idea, business model, how you would use the money from the grant, and more.
It is often through these materials, and sometimes a live pitch, that the government agencies or private corporations decide which businesses or entrepreneurs they want to give the funds to. This means that its very important that you create professional, thought-out materials to include in your application and pitch.
It’s best to wait to start applying for grants until you have a solid and developed idea for your startup. You need to think through all aspects of what it would take to launch your business. You also need to consider what you would do to grow your business once it’s launched.
Trying to apply for grants before you have a developed idea for your startup is a mistake. You’re unlikely to land any grants, and you may end up losing the drive and motivation to continue developing your ideas.
If you’ve never pitched a startup idea before, it’s also a good idea to seek professional help or talk to successful startup owners before making your first grant pitch.
Landing Your Next Grant
A startup grant can be your ticket to launching a successful business or product!
But if you’re feeling overwhelmed in your search for the right grant, or are worried that you don’t have what it takes to get one, it can be easy to put off getting started.
The longer you put off the process, the longer it will take to launch your business.
Take a chance and take the plunge today. When you’re quitting your day job to run your startup, you’ll be grateful that you took a chance on yourself!