EBHC featured in Rochester Woman Online April 2024 Edition

  • May 1, 2024

Sharing snippets from the April edition of Rochester Woman Online Magazine. Enjoy the read on pages 228 through 241. https://issuu.com/kellybreuer/docs/rwo_april2024

What advice would you give to startups or small businesses seeking grant funding for the first time?

Think of your first foray into non-dilutive grant funding as an adventure into new territory. It’s exciting, but success requires a strategic approach, not just a leap of faith.

Firstly, get real about grants. This isn’t free money to spend as you please. Grants are investments, and funders want to see a clear plan, proof of your ability to execute it, and detailed reporting on how their money is used. If you’re not ready for that level of commitment, you might want to explore other funding avenues first.

Before you start searching, take a hard look at your business. Do you have a solid business plan? What specific problems are you solving? What kind of funding gap do you need to fill? Answering these questions will make finding the right grants infinitely easier.

Start your search on a local level. Many smaller, community-focused grants are less competitive and might be a perfect fit for your startup’s mission. Don’t be afraid to niche down – are there funding opportunities specifically for your industry or even for businesses led by people like you? The more targeted your search, the better your chances.

Attention to detail is everything when it comes to the application itself. Funders have specific guidelines for a reason—ignore them, and your proposal won’t even be considered. Beyond the technical stuff, remember that you’re telling your business’s story. Why does your work matter? What impact will it have? Who’s the team that will make it happen? Injecting passion makes you stand out.

Putting together a competitive proposal takes time, so don’t wait until the last minute. Always aim for clarity, even if that means sacrificing some jargon; reviewers don’t have time to decipher an overly complex proposal. And before you hit “submit”, get an outside eye to review it. A fresh perspective can catch issues you might miss.

Finally, build relationships whenever possible. Contacting the funder with clarifying questions shows you’re serious. Don’t get discouraged by rejections; they’re normal in the grant world. Instead, learn from them and keep pushing forward!

BONUS Info from us: We love sharing our knowledge and expertise with you. Here are two readiness checklists that you might find helpful. 

We work with high-growth startups and organizations that support the startup and innovation ecosystem. We build highly specific non-dilutive funding menus, provide proposal preparation services, and measure outcomes of funding through evaluation. Schedule a consult call with us HERE.