Public funding for startups

Who will fund your company when other investors want to see more development and want you to be closer to the market than you are before they invest? Could the government or the EU help fund your startup? Public funding is an often overlooked source of financing for startups (although it isn’t applicable to all startups).

I recently held a workshop on public funding for startups, and how public funding can be used to avoid the all to common valley of death for startups.  You can download my slides from the public funding workshop here.

My main points from the workshop were:

1.Public funding is a great source of capital for many startups

2.Do your homework – and research what is relevant for you!

3.Three major forms of public funding relevant for startups: Grants, Equity, Loans

4.Often a lot of competition to get the funding

5.Public funding rarely support “ideas” – you need to bootstrap before

6.It takes a lot of work to be successful in your applications – but the payoff is worth it!

…and some specific points regarding public grants for startups:

1.Formal (often bureaucratic) application process

2.You will have to prove that you will help the Government realize their goals

3.The goals are different from grant to grant (also administrated by different public bodies)

4.You will have to co-invest – so prove that YOU also want to do it. They normally never fund 100% of  projects/activities.


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