In collaboration with the UK Export Academy, Grantify’s Non-Executive Chairman, Gordon Brown, and Lead Funding Consultant, Hatti Whitman, presented an insider’s guide to grant funding in last month’s webinar.
Grantify has transformed data from over 125,000 applicants into invaluable insights, unlocking the secrets to mastering a successful grant application.
Keep reading for top takeaways to enhance your understanding and success in grant applications.
Get an insider’s look into:
- Why Grant Funding?
- Tips for a Successful Grant Application
- Crafting a Compelling Application
- Potential Pitfalls
- Increasing Your Chance for Success
Section 1: Why Grant Funding?
Grant funding offers a broad spectrum of advantages for companies, propelling growth, fostering innovation, and contributing to overall success.
Beyond the monetary gain, what is the true value of a grant application? It instils a valuable discipline, helping applicants to articulate their narrative in an evidence-based manner.
Grantify really helps with how to tell the story of your business. And how you do that in a way that it makes people want to invest in you. So if you’re emerging from that application composition process, with a 10 Pager that’s all about your business, your route to market etc, that’s something that’s going to help you tell the story of your business to anyone who asks.
– Hatti Whitman, Lead Funding Consultant, Grantify
Being able to tell business’s story transforms you into a more attractive investment prospect. It positions you favourably for commercialisation and scaling endeavours, providing a narrative that resonates with potential investors.
Section 2: Tips for a Successful Grant Application
As we move into the mechanics of the grant application process, it’s essential to understand certain considerations before starting the application journey.
Technical Expertise and Team Collaboration
All grant applications closely scrutinise the technical aspects of your proposal. Make sure to have your tech team available and primed to offer their inputs on the application. Collaboration is key; don’t handle it alone unless you’re the tech expert crafting your match lending strategy.
Understanding Qualifying Costs
Knowing what is and isn’t a qualifying cost is crucial. Grant applications focused on R&D generally don’t fund commercial costs or business-as-usual work. Grantify provides strong guidance on fundable costs, but it’s vital to sit down and consider what qualifies as R&D before calculating costs.
Timing and Planning
Most grant applications work in rounds, and understanding the timeline is vital. Projects can’t start immediately after application submission.
For example, in the Innovate UK Smart Grant application process, results may be received at the end of March for a January submission closing date, which gives an earliest project start date in May. Planning ahead and considering the future landscape is essential for success.
Defining Ultimate Goals
Define your ultimate goals early on. Consider the long-term impacts you want to make and the value you aim to bring. This clarity helps shape your starting point and guides your journey toward success.
Secure the right grant funding for your business. See if you’re eligible with our 90-second quiz
Section 3: Crafting a Compelling Application
Crafting a compelling application involves a careful blend of art and science. Having a strong narrative right from the start is paramount.
A Great Idea with Technical Challenges
- Ensure your idea is not just great, but also technically challenging. Grant applications seek innovations that are difficult and groundbreaking.
- Research the tech innovations gaining traction with awarding bodies.
- Differentiate your technology from the competition by highlighting your competitive advantage.
Justifying Public Money Usage
- Answer the question, “Why is this a good use of public money?” by demonstrating how your idea benefits British businesses and society.
- Qualify and quantify the societal impact and value proposition.
- Consider wider impacts, including economic, social, and environmental aspects.
Building a Strong Team
- Emphasise the expertise of your team, tailoring their backgrounds to the technical and commercial challenges.
Developing a Go-to-Market Strategy and Commercial Viability
- Outline a detailed go-to-market strategy broken into scalable bite-sized chunks, whilst also demonstrating ambition.
- Showcase how you will grow and scale your business, including exporting ambitions and your strategy for entering new markets.
- Prove the commercial viability of your business, including ambitious yet realistic numbers.
- Calculate the potential return on investment for the grant, especially if your outcomes-based analysis highlights significant societal benefits.
- Present strong project management plans, ensuring certainty of outcomes. Include a risk register, detailing headwinds and mitigation strategies.
The bottom line in crafting your application is that you are the expert in your business; and we want to see you bring that expertise to your grant application.
You are capable of baking a beautiful cake, but it’s only as good as the ingredients provided.
– Gordon Brown, Non-Executive Chairman of Grantify
Section 4: Potential Pitfalls
While navigating the grant application process, it’s crucial to be aware of common mistakes that could hinder success. We’ll provide insights on avoiding these mistakes to ensure a smoother journey toward securing funding.
Clarify All Aspects for Assessors
Make all aspects of your application clear, as assessors may have expertise in specific areas. Don’t assume knowledge; present a comprehensive and understandable application.
Embrace Project Risks
Include enough project risks to justify opting for a grant over other types of funding. However, balance these risks and demonstrate that they are manageable.
Section 5: Increasing Your Chance for Success
At Grantify, we have mastered the skill of identifying promising ideas. Opting to work with us significantly boosts your chances, with an average success rate ten times higher compared to those who go it alone. Our customer-focused team comprises grant experts from diverse backgrounds, including startup, charity, political, and technical sectors. This varied expertise contributes to our remarkable success rate, securing over £80 million in funding for our clients.