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The best way to navigate the tangled net of presidency startup grants


Sep 23, 2022

Don’t go away cash on the desk to your startup.

Governments throughout Canada need to assist startups, however the grant panorama is murky at finest.

Regardless of billions of {dollars} in obtainable grants, many startups don’t search them attributable to utility complexity, confusion to find them to start with, or a mixture of each. That is one thing the Cisco Grants Assist Program is working to unravel. The Grants Workplace helps startups of all sizes navigate the grant funding panorama in Canada and apply for related grants.

You’re actually going to see an enormous vary of grants on the market by way of matter or theme.

Talking with BetaKit, Stephanie Cesar, a Grant Growth Guide, and Ashley Schultz, the World Supervisor for Analysis and Session, shared what kinds of grants can be found for Canadian startups, frequent misconceptions startup founders have about grant funding, and 3 ways to seek out authorities grants with out losing hours.

What’s in a grant?

One of many first issues founders must learn about grants is simply what number of there are, each in general amount and sort. Cesar and Schultz shared three completely different classes of grants obtainable for startup founders, every with specifics relying on the mission at hand:

Beginning up: Validating an concept, making a marketing strategy, constructing an internet site, or hiring your first workers.

Scaling up: Taking part in superior analysis in partnership with a college, export commercialization, opening worldwide workplaces, or constructing or retrofitting new bodily buildings as wanted.

Founder assist: Mentorship, psychological well being assist for founders, and collaboration alternatives with different companies for mutual profit.

“Within the startup ecosystem, you’re actually going to see an enormous vary of grants on the market by way of matter or theme,” stated Schultz.

Don’t take it with no consideration

Having labored with many startups and different organizations, Cesar and Schultz know that enterprise leaders have a number of misconceptions about sourcing and making use of for grants.

Many startup founders suppose they received’t qualify for grants as a result of they’re both too early stage or their mission is simply too particular. Fortunately, stated Schultz, the truth is that grants exist for all ranges and phases of the enterprise.

Cesar famous that many organizations draw back from grant purposes as a result of they merely get misplaced within the analysis and utility course of. She added that many founders really feel it’s simply an excessive amount of of a time dedication and cease midway by way of, one thing the Cisco Grants Assist Program goals to assist with.

“Any stage within the course of is an efficient time to achieve out to the Cisco Grants Assist Workplace,” stated Schultz.

One other frequent concern Schultz and Cesar hear from founders is the necessity to keep away from sure grants (normally the larger grants) as a result of they assume a lot of candidates make their possibilities of success too low to justify the applying effort. That is tied in with an extra false impression that every one grants are distinctive, that means you possibly can’t reuse content material from one utility to the following. Whereas Schultz stated there are distinctive parts to every grant, you possibly can typically reuse a major quantity of knowledge, saving time and making it simpler to use for grants whatever the perceived (or precise) competitiveness.

The ultimate concern Schultz hears from founders is that not getting a grant means the entire utility course of was a waste of time. Whereas she understands the frustration of spending time on an utility with out getting the cash, she stated the method of making use of helps companies make clear their objectives, story, and metrics—which is effective in itself.

“Even for those who’re not profitable, going by way of these steps and laying that path at your ft is actually, actually useful for organizations, massive and small,” stated Schultz.

3 ways to seek out grant funding for Canadian startups

Each Schultz and Cesar lamented that it may be tough for startups to seek out the best grants for his or her circumstances in Canada as a result of there are such a lot of, however added that the amount of grants and assist can be an infinite optimistic. To assist startup founders discover grants which may work for them, they recommended three pathways:

1. Canada Enterprise Advantages Finder: a grants search engine that lets you put within the traits of your mission and see what grants or loans is likely to be obtainable from authorities companies. It additionally hyperlinks into the Accelerated Progress Service, a free advisory service provided by the federal government that will help you navigate a number of the extra advanced government-sponsored grants.

“That is the perfect place to start out,” stated Cesar.

2. Regional Growth Companies: seven companies throughout Canada that assist with region-specific improvement initiatives. These companies, stated Schultz, typically have more money to present out than provincial governments as a result of they cowl complete areas of the nation equivalent to all of Atlantic Canada (ACOA) or the Prairies (PrairiesCan).

3. Cisco Grants Assist Program: The assist program workplace is completely happy to assist with any stage of an organization’s lifecycle since there are grants obtainable for the earliest phases of concept validation to particular commercialization, export, and progress initiatives.

All of those pathways purpose to assist entrepreneurs type by way of the big net of grants, tax credit, and different alternatives for startup funding. Whereas the method can take time, it’s price it not only for the potential monetary acquire but in addition for the train of making use of—as you refine this info for various purposes, you would possibly discover it turns into a strategic element of your enterprise.

Click on right here you probably have questions concerning the Cisco Grants Assist Program or need to be taught extra.

Picture courtesy of Unsplash.

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