On June 27th, the Top 60 Over 60 hosted an event at Thyme and Again. We invited an Innovation Advisor, Anet Greenley, from the Innovation Concierge Service to speak to the gathering. The Concierge Service provides support for innovative businesses to connect to government funding, expertise, facilities, and global opportunities.
The following tips provide some insight into what’s required to access services through the government of Canada.
You need to have a business plan. Your business plan should clearly articulate the problem you are trying to solve.
Obtain market validation, for example, this can be achieved through crowd-funding. The idea is to demonstrate that your idea has a market.
Know your value proposition. Know what makes you more appealing or better than what others in the market have to offer.
Partner, be open to collaboration. Sometimes people come to the concierge service because they believe they need money, when what they really need is collaboration.
Invest in yourself. Be engaged full time and in yourself. It’s difficult to convince others to invest in your business when you are unwilling to invest in yourself.
Map government programs against your strategy. Just because the government doesn’t have a program that fits you now, doesn’t mean they won’t have one in the future so continue to touch base.
For application advice, take a look at the application guidebook. The program may change from year to year; make sure you have the most current requirements.
Use the government’s words when preparing your proposals. This will help those doing the first assessment to accurately assess your fit. Remember, many people are looking for funding from the same sources. Don’t lose out because you are not paying attention to the way questions are phrased.
Focus on realistic and measurable outcomes.
Take a look at who has won grants or loans in the past. This information is generally available online. By assessing past successful applicants you get some sense of what is required to succeed.
Answer the questions that are asked. If they ask for your commercialization strategy – then give them that information. You can disqualify yourself simply by not answering accurately.
Pay attention to the eligibility criteria. Don’t ask for things outside of the criteria or you may be automatically disqualified.