Start-up culture is big and there has never been a better time to get involved in the scene thanks to the copious amounts of help in the form of funding available from a range of institutions.
This article will highlight just some of the many funding opportunities available for start-ups.
This is the most traditional route to acquire new start-up funding and despite being somewhat obvious, it is no less valid. Banks can help set you up with business banking accounts and provide funds in the form of loans, credit cards or overdrafts. Banks have several different funding avenues they can offer, the variety of which makes them worth investigating because the terms for each are slightly different and you can choose the best one to suit you.
Crowdfunding is a much more recent funding option but, with the right pitch, it can be much more lucrative than almost any other option. Crowdfunding involves coming up with a business pitch, usually in the form of a brief business plan, marketing video and sometimes, where applicable, a product prototype. This is then put online and members of the public can choose to chip in as little or as much money towards your pitch as they wish. Crowdfunding can be a means to an end within itself, but very often it’s used to test how receptive people are to a business idea and a successful crowdfunding pitch can be used as a springboard to raise further funds through VCs and angel investors.
Seed accelerators are specialised programmes aimed at incubating and developing innovative business ideas and concepts. They provide not only funding, but also mentorship and training to help get a business idea off the ground. Seed accelerators in general are extremely competitive and expect ideas to move fast – rapid iterations is a cornerstone of how seed accelerators measure progress, and ideas can be dropped if they don’t develop fast enough or as fruitfully as hoped. Nevertheless, if you do manage to get your idea accepted, seed accelerators can be a great way to rapidly turn your idea into reality.
Government sponsored programmes
The government offers a wide variety of funding programmes and opportunities in the form of grants, loans, expertise and many other avenues. There is a huge list of all the specific programmes available, many of which are region specific, but you can check out a compiled list available here. Each programme works in a different way, so you’ll likely find one suitable for your business.