Check out this blog from Bad Dinosaur, highlighting some of the key funding options available for startups and small businesses in Scotland, and how to be best prepared to apply.
We often speak to individuals who have great app and business ideas but are unsure of the best place to look for funding to help them get started. The good news is that there are multiple funding opportunities available in Scotland. However, it is important to be prepared in advance for when these opportunities might arise, so we have put together a quick list of things you can do to be prepared for the next funding opportunity that comes around.
The Business Gateway Digital Boost Fund is a great example of why it is so important to be prepared for funding opportunities ahead of time. Twice this year and for the second year in a row, the grant was suspended on the very day it launched due to its popularity leaving some people disappointed that they missed out. Utilize our helpful hints and tips to ready yourself for that funding proposal!
1. Know what you want to do
If you see a funding opportunity and you think “I should come up with an idea to get that funding”, then it’s unlikely that it will take off. The best projects and the most successful funding applications are for projects and initiatives that solve real problems, rather than something that’s been shoehorned in.
2. Have a proposal ready to go
It takes time to pull a proposal together. The most common question by far that we get from prospective clients is “roughly how much does it cost to build an app”. We get asked this question so much, but the truth is it’s impossible to pull even a ballpark figure together without getting an understanding of what’s involved. We don’t want to disappoint you by quoting something that is not relevant. So, if you have a project in mind, don’t wait for the right funding opportunity to come around. Get the conversation started with a development team so that you are prepared.
3. Involve your suppliers
We have seen more funding applications than any individual applicant will have ever written. Lean on the experience of your suppliers, whether it’s your accountant, solicitor, PR professional, or your friendly dinosaur-obsessed app development agency. We know what works and what will trip you up, and most importantly, we really want you to succeed.
4. Make sure you’re tuned into the right channels
It’s hard to navigate the world of fundraising. There’s a lot of noise to cut through, but you need to be listening to the right sources to hear about opportunities. Make sure you’re subscribing to (and reading!) newsletters from relevant bodies.
5. Get involved in conversations about funding
If you quietly follow the right hashtags, accounts, and newsletters, you’ll start to hear about funding opportunities, but if you really want to be on the pulse you need to get involved in the conversation. The more people you talk to about it, the more likely you are to find out about funding (and much more). There’s a vibrant and supportive startup community in Scotland, so get stuck in!
6. Network, network, network!
Push yourself out of your comfort zone and make a real effort to network. There are a great variety of networking events online and in-person across the country and you never know who you might meet and who they might be connected to.
Below are some suggestions for places to start your research. It’s definitely worth signing up for these organisations newsletters for funding alerts: