As any SME knows, funding is a key bottleneck. VC’s and angels may want huge wads of equity to cover the risk of an early stage technology business while banks simply aren’t interested until you can demonstrate some sales (despite what they may tell you).
One route I’ve used effectively in the past is grant funding, and I’ve worked with the European Science Foundation, the European Commission and Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) where I have both received grants and spent a few years reviewing applications (although not at the same time).
If you are in Leeds on the morning of the 17th October I’ll be at Funding Routes for R&D Performing High Growth SMEs, discussing how it helped some of my businesses in nanotechnology, and Graham Hall will give his experiences at Brandon Medical along with Craig Sharp and Jane Watkins of Innovate UK who will give an overview of various nanotechnology funding schemes in the UK and Europe, and how to get your hands on the €800 million that is available.
There are also smaller pots of cash such as the Yorkshire Innovation Fund which will be discussed.
Clarion Solicitors do a great job on these events and I have spoken at and attended many. It is always a great networking event, and if it results in some non equity based funding for your business that doesn’t require your house as collateral then it’s definitely a worthwhile trip.
You can register here.