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matt608 matt608 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3
Funding Advice For Web-Startup Needed!

Hi, Iím Matt, I'm 19 and I live in Cambridge (on my Gap year).

I am founding a Web Startup involved in blog advertising (I wish I could explain more about it now, but we are in 'stealth'). The company is currently under formation and our Website is being developed and should launch in 1-2 months.

The main reason I am here is to find out if I am eligible for any grants or similar schemes. I have done a fair bit of research and my company doesn't quite seem to fit the criteria. Perhaps going for an award would be better? I spoke to an external advisor and he pointed me here. He said RnD grants are very competitive and someone my age would struggle to get one, especially as software development isnít considered RnD (apparently).

If any mentors can advise me about additional funding options I would greatly appreciate it! - I already know about most of the big grants and I'm not looking to give away more equity unless I can get a really good deal with someone who also brings lots of expertise, which doesnít leave many options!

The first thing the money would cover is travel expenses to trade shows overseas, which is a major part of how I will be generating business for the Website. I have tried the TAP grant scheme but they say I need to already be trading in the UK before going global, which is a problem because as soon as we launch we will be global (focused on USA and Europe).

The rest of the money would go towards hiring additional developers to speed up the Website development and constantly add new features and improvements. The rest on advertising online.

I already have enough money to go for a 'soft launch', but for my business to really take off and go really big more money is needed. I'll take anything I can get even if it is only enough to cover a trip to 1 trade show.

I can speak more about my business privately but any words of advice greatly would be appreciated!
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bill mccallum bill mccallum is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dorset
Posts: 472
funding

easy of england development agency

http://www.eeda.org.uk/2053.asp
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matt608 matt608 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3
Thanks Bill, I've read all those pages on the EEDA site and my business doesn't seem to quite fit any of the criteria!

Due to it being 'only' software that is being developed and my age and because the development take longer than 12 months I don't qualify as a RnD Micro project. (there numerous new features lined up to add to the site)

I'm not collaborating with any Eurpoean partners, which puts me out the running for the FP7.

I'm too late for proof of concept, as the site is already begin developed.

And when we launch, it will be global which puts me out of the running for the UK trade and investment export grants - because I am either meant to already be an experienced exporter, or have the businesses trading in the uk only.

As far as I can tell I am all out of options, but it does seem like I am the kind of person they goverment wants to encourage even if I don't quite fit the specific criteria.

Does Shell liveWire offer grants?
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bill mccallum bill mccallum is offline
Connector
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dorset
Posts: 472
The Prices Trust is the best place to start.

Its also worth talking to EEDA, although their standard programmes have limiting criteria, its always possible for them to look at selective assistance, depending on the sixe of the business.

see also

http://www.foundationeast.org/
http://www.cover-east.org/
http://www.runningthegauntlet.com/
http://www.cambsenterprise.co.uk/index_cambs.htm
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