Innovate UK, a UK-based innovation agency, well-known for helping businesses with financing and offering support to companies that produce products and services, has announced the launching of a new series titled ‘Fast Start’. This competition is providing £30 million in grants, along with tailored business support to UK start-up brands, to aid with developing and propelling innovative concepts. Each grant will be up to £50,000 and will offer hundreds of micro and small businesses the chance to grow and evolve their company at a faster pace.
The grants look to build the UK’s future economy by offering companies a cash flow of money that will help businesses in sectors such as tech and healthcare develop new creative services and products. Alongside this, Innovate UK will ask companies to examine whether their innovations could be of benefit to solving issues such as net-zero.
To be equal and fair to companies, the grant will only be given to businesses that have not yet received funding from Innovate UK. This is to ensure that Innovate UK is helping new and more diverse companies, that have much growth potential.
In order to be considered for the grant, each project much result in a new product or service that either innovatively builds on current products or services or are considerably ahead of products and services Innovate UK already has. In addition, each idea must concentrate either on attaining self-driven healthcare or net-zero, while demonstrating how each new idea ‘can enable affordable, adoptable and investable innovations in these areas’.
The Innovate UK competition opens on the 11th of July 2022 and ends at 11 am on the 26th of July 2022.
How To Secure Grant Money
As stated above, it can be quite difficult to secure grants, however, they can be very beneficial for start-ups. Here are a few essential points to keep in mind when applying for start-up grants.
- Search for grants within your sector: Most small business grants are industry-specific, because of this it would be useful if you narrow your search to research institutions and organisations within the field your business specialises in.
- Thoroughly read through the eligibility requirements: Although this is obvious, it can be fairly easy to overlook important aspects of eligibility. Carefully and thoroughly read through the requirements and properly assess whether you are eligible for the grant. This can save you a lot of time and hassle if say you put much effort into applying and you end up being ineligible.
- Ensure your company’s goals align with the grant’s mission: When offering small business grants, various organisations do so with specific goals in mind. They hope that by providing the grant, they’ll achieve this goal. Due to this, constantly ask yourself whether your business model will assist in achieving this goal.
- Plan out how the money will be spent: Even though some organisations will tell you what to spend the money on, it’s always best to show how you plan on utilising the money. Having a good business plan that includes the budget will allow organisations to comprehend whether your business goals align with their mission. Make sure you’re specific and illustrate how the funding will help your business grow.
- Concentrate on making your pitch geared towards expansion and innovation: Organisations that offer small business grants look for companies that are forward-thinking and innovative, for example, look at how to develop new technologies or how they can be used. Scale your pitch and properly show how your business can aid with the organisations mission.