top 7 government grants for startups

Top 7 Government Grants For Startups In 2016

The greatest challenge you’ll face when building your app is trying to raise ‘capital’ to fund the development and growth of your business.

There are several avenues available to you when looking for access to startup capital, like outside investors, family and friends, and crowdfunding.

Have you considered that your app may be eligible for government funding?

Depending on the nature of your business, you could qualify for a government grant or loan ranging from $500 to $2 million dollars.

Now I know government grants are famous for making start-ups jump through many hoops, they make you complete a lifetime worth of paperwork and the criteria they set can be really ambiguous.

In saying that, we’ve had several startup clients successful apply and receive funding from the government, so it is definitely worth applying!

All you have to lose is a few hours of your time.

Here are our top 7 Government Grants For Startups. 

Click on the heading to be taken to the respective websites.

1. Research and Development Tax Incentive

The R&D tax incentive will assist you in the validation and research phase of building your startup.

It will help offset some of your costs by providing up to 45% tax relief.

The goal for the government by providing this incentive is to grow our innovation community and mindset in Australia.

Launch Vic are also heavily invested in R&D for Victorian Startups, so make sure you head over to the website if you are in Vic.

2. Public Sector Innovation Fund

Does your app idea solve a community idea or problem in Victoria?

This grant provides funding for projects that apply technology to solve complex policy challenges and deliver public value.

Funding for this grant is anywhere from $50,000 to $350,000.

Applications are based on the following criteria:

  • The project must address a public service issue.
  • Projects must be innovative.
  • Projects must generate public sector value.
  • Projects must be actionable.

To learn more about this grant click here.

3. Entrepreneurs’ Programme

Are you an entrepreneur with a groundbreaking idea and in the early stages of development?

The Federal Government offers a number of sub-programs to help your business grow.

1.The Accelerating Commercialisation Program assists businesses with high growth potential. This grant aims to:

  • Accelerate the marketing of innovative new businesses in the form of processes, services and new products.
  • Generate greater economic and commercial returns.
  • Create new businesses based on novel intellectual property with high growth potential.

2. The Business Management Service will see an experienced business advisor conduct a thorough analysis of your business, free of charge. This improves your business networks and capabilities.

3. The Innovation Connections Program offers practical assistance for supplying your product or service to more of your market and will help you learn how to tap into new potential markets.

Once you have participated in these three programs, then you’re eligible to apply for a Business Growth Grant. 

Grants of up $20,000 are available.

4. Grow Your Business – Group Programs

Business and management experience are crucial when building a new company.

This is why mentors are always a great idea, especially when you have outgrown the startup phase.

The ‘Grow Your Business’ grant focuses on developing management and business skills.

The grant covers eligible groups up to 75% of the costs for the total group project of up to $15,000.

Check out the criteria here.

5. Enterprise Melbourne – Small Business Grants

The City of Melbourne offers a range of annual grants and sponsorship opportunities to support the Melbourne community.

These grants comprise a combination of financial support and business mentoring as well as funding for training.

With an annual budget of over $306,000 the grant has funded over 320 businesses with over $7 million in grants since 1996.

Categories include:

  • Startup – Grants of up to $30,000 are available
  • Business Expansion – Grants of up to $30,000 are available
  • Export Entry – Helping Melbourne-based businesses enter or continue expansion into new overseas markets. Grants are available for new and current exporters of up to $10,000.
  • Business Support Services – This grant is for member-based organisations, like industry associations or city precinct groups, to develop new initiatives. Up to $10,000 is available.
  • Micro Business – Grants of up to $25,000 are available for micro business startups and expanding.

Find out your eligibility and the application processes here.

6. Business Growth Services

This Government programme is for businesses with the resources and drive to expand.

Grant recipients get access to business advisers and facilitators with specific skills and connections to help the business execute its growth plan.

The aim is to enable management to drive growth more rapidly and with less risk.

Eligible businesses can access Growth Services over a period of up to two years at no charge to the business. These grants are worth up to $20,000!

Some quick tips when you apply for grants:

  1. Don’t allow the temptation of money to direct your business strategy. Hone your business strategy before applying for grants.
  2. When planning your strategic objectives, turn your attention to which grants may be available at the time to fund those objectives.
  3. Before applying, realistically evaluate if you’re the right fit for the grant. Most applications take several hours to complete – if you know you have little chance of winning, that time might be better spent elsewhere.
  4. When you apply, make sure your application is professional but unique so its stands out. Allow your brand to shine through.
  5. If successful, make sure you keep up with the on-going grant requirements to ensure your continued funding.

The Australian Government has recently consolidated all its different grant websites into one aggregated site called Grant Finder.

Set the filter to what best describes your startup’s current situation, and you’ll only be shown which grants are relevant to you! Check it out here.

Have you had any success with applying for grants?

Where to go next

Video Presentation: How To Get Startup Grants From The Australian Government

The App Developer’s Complete Investment Kit

The Information Memorandum Investors ACTUALLY Want To Read

5 Most Popular Crowdfunding Websites

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Logan Merrick is the co-founder and Director of Buzinga, as well as one of Australia's most recognised entrepreneurs, keynote speakers, investors and mentors. His writing on startups, technology and mobile marketing has been featured in The Australian, Business Insider, Startup Smart, Smart Company, and more.