are government grants worth applying for?

I am still in the process of starting my own business - 2nd meeting with the industrial designer on friday in regards to getting proto-type made. there is a government grant that i may be eligable for ... early stage commercialisation ... which offers grants of $50,000 to $2mil to test viability of product, have prototypes made and tested, and bring your product to market. at the most i would be looking at $20,000 as you have to match dollar for dollar and there is no way my concept would cost more than $40k to bring fully to market (business plan costings come in around $30,000).

has anyone applied for grants in the past? and are they worth the hoops one has to jump thru? any advice? thoughts?

i suppose there is nothing to lose by applying - but i would be interested in anyone's stories.
 
i must clarify - i don't NEED the money ... but no point in being a martyr as hubby and i have paid a small fortune in taxes over the years - and it'd be nice to save the extra cash i have on hand to help with cashflow once i get going.
 
All my businesses had a zero capital to begin with, all service based, so I have never applied for grants.

It would be interesting to see how you go and what the process is. What do you need to do to apply?

If you need any help with business plans etc Lizzy feel free to call me. XX

all the very best to you.
 
the company i used to work for has started the process, but i'm not sure if they have finished it.

there was a lot of paperwork involved
 
there was a lot of paperwork involved

that's what i thought - for not a lot of cash that i don't desparately need. i might start the process and see how convoluted it is.

thanks xenia - business plan is written and checked by my business mentor. she was very happy with it. took simply ages to write, but well worth it as forced me to find out the answers to some tricky but required questions - and to rethink a few things.
 
i think in the end they decided that the difference between claiming R&D expenses on tax return and the dollar for dollar matching didn't justify the effort to get all the paperwork ready and decided not to go ahead.

but it might be different for you, as that was a company with 50 employees, so you'd need to count raw materials, the time employees spend on R&D, have all the timesheets to prove the time spent on R&D, other stuff as well.

I think timesheets was the biggest culprit as a lot of employees did both R&D and non-R&D related work, so it was hard to separate them.
Plus a lot of raw materials for used for both R&D and production, so again - hard to separate.
 
i'm currently applying for grants as we speak, under the royalties for regions scheme (WA only).

all my stuff is tied up under a NDA so i can't discuss it, however, it's most certainly worth it.
 
thanks guys - i'm looking at the "proof of concept" grant from commercialisation australia.

from what i gather, they pay 50% of the costs to get your product market reading (planning, prototype, testing etc).

tonights job is to have a closer look.
 
after reading all the online info, i think my application would fall over on all three of these criteria:


"In addressing this criterion ensure you address the following:
Explain why you have insufficient resources to fund the entire project.
Explain why you cannot obtain financing from alternative means.
Explain the market need to complete the project in a timeframe that would not be possible without grant support."

ah well ... although i might get some guesstimate costings off my industrial designer tomorrow - might be more expensive than i thought to get prototype up and running, and sample run made, so might still have a leg in.

this bit doesn't help tho. there is no dire need to australia to have may product, and it's not going to be a huge export earner in the short term:

"In addressing this criterion ensure you address the following:
Explain how the project will improve Australia’s participation and competitiveness in the global economy.
Explain what spill-over benefits will accrue to Australia through conduct of the project and/or commercialisation of its results"
 
My parents business claim a bunch of R&D and export grants, but I'm not sure about the details, other than we spoke about it around 5 years ago. They were approached by a consultant who for a fee would manage the process with the forms, submissions and requirements, then put in place the necessary recording mechanisms for their business to fulfil the requirements.

Whilst it was time consuming; and they had to pay consultants fees, the consultant was able to secure additional grants that my parents didn't know existed/applied to their situation. For them, hiring a grants expert consultant was a very profitable move.

Maybe there is a consultant or expert who could very quickly advise what may/may not apply in your situation.

Cheers
Buddybee
 
after reading all the online info, i think my application would fall over on all three of these criteria:


"In addressing this criterion ensure you address the following:
Explain why you have insufficient resources to fund the entire project.
Explain why you cannot obtain financing from alternative means.
Explain the market need to complete the project in a timeframe that would not be possible without grant support."

ah well ... although i might get some guesstimate costings off my industrial designer tomorrow - might be more expensive than i thought to get prototype up and running, and sample run made, so might still have a leg in.

this bit doesn't help tho. there is no dire need to australia to have may product, and it's not going to be a huge export earner in the short term:

"In addressing this criterion ensure you address the following:
Explain how the project will improve Australia’s participation and competitiveness in the global economy.
Explain what spill-over benefits will accrue to Australia through conduct of the project and/or commercialisation of its results"

send your details to me and i'll justify it for you - i'm used to legal jargon and performance criteria.
 
Maybe there is a consultant or expert who could very quickly advise what may/may not apply in your situation.

There is a company that does this. Heard them advertising on the radio in a cab yesterday. They do all the work and take a percentage af the grant. No idea how much or anything like that. They would be very good at sniffing out opportunities and knowing what things are worth applying for and then doing the hard bit i.e. the paperwork.
 
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