Are there any grants for start up companies?
There are very few grants available for start up companies. Most of the grants go to established companies/organisations that have a track record of growth and strong financial performance.
Typically this occurs with revenues of around $1 million in revenue.
What about for developing a new product?
The R&D Tax Incentive is a targeted, generous and easy to access entitlement program that helps businesses offset some of the costs of doing R&D. The Program aims to help more businesses do R&D and innovate.
What about for exporting overseas?
The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme provides financial assistance for aspiring and current exporters. It supports a wide range of industry sectors and products, including inbound tourism and the export of intellectual property and know-how outside Australia.
How to win Government Grants?
For those of you wishing to tackle the Government Grant application yourselves, I have prepared a few hints to keep you on track. Most competitive government grant applications follow a question and answer template.
- Answer the Question – sounds pretty simple but it is often hard to do when you are caught up in the project. Most people are too close to their projects and find it hard to do the ‘elevator pitch’ to strangers. When you think you have answered a question – give it to someone else to read and get them to give you feedback.
- Keep it simple – Your answers should be as brief as possible but still get the point across. Resist the urge to describe every intricate detail of your project.
- Use pictures – most often, grant applications have a word limit but it does not apply to diagrams. A diagram allows the ready to get a better understanding of your project. Once again though, give the diagram to someone else and have them explain what they think it means. If they cant work it out, neither can the grant assessor.
- Best team – grants are competitive and the assessor will be looking for a team that has a track record in delivering (ideally) the same results previously. So your past experience must reflect as close as possible the skills that the grant is looking for. This may include commercialisation experience, technology experience or R&D experience. The assessor will not always give it to the best “sounding” project but the least risky project. So you have to make it easy for them and demonstrate that the risk involved in investing in your team is minimal.
- Dollar for dollar – most competitive grants require matched funding (cash or inkind) to support your share of the project. This is generally a black or white question, either you have financing or you dont. If you say “you can get it” then dont bother applying. If you are a start up business then you will need to show money in the bank, line of credit or a loan agreement. If you are an existing business and plan to use cash flow to support your project then then you will need to 3 years of good financial results (Balance sheet and Profit and loss). This in itself is good but does not guarantee success. To really demonstrate that you have the cash, you will need to provide a forecast cash flow analysis