The deadline for the MBDA Capital Readiness Program NOFO is quickly approaching on 2/28/23. This NOFO is quite unique in several ways. Additionally, it requires specific information and budget nuances. Several clients have expressed interest in working with us to apply for this opportunity. Our response is, “have you read the NOFO/do you know what is required of applicants”. For those coming in at the last minute seeking proposal preparation, bringing these five key items to the table will help us craft a competitive proposal for you.
MBDA tracks and budget tiers
Early-Stage Technical Assistance/Incubators. These services help startups and early-stage entrepreneurs launch their businesses, products, or services. Focus areas include early-stage development, minimum viable product development, product validation, business advisory, matchmaking with mentors, peer support, subject matter expertise, and workforce development. Thus, this track is best suited for early-stage Capital solutions. MBDA strongly encourages applicants to include technical assistance for new entrepreneurs and/or businesses in the early stages of the business lifecycle as part of its offerings.
Emerging-Business Technical Assistance/Accelerators. These services are designed for emerging businesses that have moved beyond the earliest stages of getting established. However, even established businesses need sophisticated guidance and peer support to scale up the business. This track focuses on equity fundraising, selling the business, or filing for an initial public offering. Services may include advisory guidance around growth and expansion, exit strategies, exploring new markets, providing a network of specialized mentors. Additionally, vendors and peer support, industry-specific curriculum, workforce development, preparing companies for institutional level due diligence, pitches for seed/accelerating investors and the sale of the company are in focus.
In addition to the track, a 10-25% cost share match is required based on budget tier.
# 2 – How do your planned MBDA activities improve opportunities for SEDI founders within the three pillars?
Three distinct pillars must be addressed separately to create a competitive proposals. Applicants should come to the table with a clear understanding of:
Capacity Building: Proposals must demonstrate how the applicant will offer technical assistance services and curricula to assist SEDI entrepreneurs with launching and developing scalable and investable businesses.
Access to Capital: Proposals must demonstrate how the applicant will provide technical assistance to SEDI entrepreneurs to apply for state SSBCI programs. These and other similar federal, state, or local government programs promote American entrepreneurship and democratize access to startup capital across the country.
Access to Networks: Proposals must demonstrate how the applicant will provide resources and programs that help connect SEDI entrepreneurs to a larger community of business mentors, coaches, service providers, subject matter experts and peers who understand and address SEDI-specific challenges.
How do you plan to handle MBDA mandatory reporting requirements?
Firstly, there are six mandatory objectives applicants are required to collect data on and include in their interim and final reports. Secondly, applicants are required to create an additional success metric to report on that aligns with MBDA goals.
The following are the six (6) required measures that applicants must report on under the Program:
- The number of SEDI entrepreneurs enrolled in the project
- Anticipated number of SEDI entrepreneurs that graduate from the project
- Number of networking events held
- The number of SEDI entrepreneur or SEDI-owned business pitches to Capital
- Number of SEDI-owned businesses formed or scaled
- Total amount of Capital raised (equity investments, debt, and grants)
Understand your population and how your activities align with their needs
Applicants must describe why their population is SEDI and how program activities benefit these groups. This requires the applicant to select a specific geographic area. Additionally, applicants must have an understanding of the barriers facing the SEDI population within that geographic area.
how can you demonstrate your track record of helping SEDI populations?
Applicants must demonstrate a successful track record in working with one or more SEDI groups or for applicants who have not historically served SEDI groups, demonstrate commitments from organizations with track records in working with one or more SEDI groups (community-based organizations and HBCUs, TCUs, or MSIs).
Applicants must also demonstrate a successful track record in working with early-stage businesses. Success also includes working with emerging businesses that are poised to raise Capital, that have successfully raised Capital, or that have exited via a sale. Furthermore, the proposal must identify where in the business lifecycle its target participants are. This includes whether the proposal proposes to serve mostly early-stage businesses, emerging businesses, or a mix of both. Finally, applicants must show how their experience proves capability to do so.
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.