FAQs on non-dilutive funding answered – Apéro in Basel

Catalyze has been in the funding business for a long time, and throughout the years we have worked with over 1000 partners in seeking non-dilutive funding for their innovation projects. What are the top questions we get as funding consultants? How do we work to give our clients the support that they need?

Last month, we had hosted a lively and friendly apéro at our new office space in Basel. To get the evening started, our Swiss team, Virginia, Ming and Sabine, discussed these FAQs and gave insider tips on preparing the best proposal for grant and subsidies.

FAQs on non-dilutive funding

I want to get public funding for my innovation project. What is the first thing I should do?

The first thing to do is to find a list of funding programs that are both applicable and available to you. There are hundreds of publicly-funded grant opportunities, where each of which comes with strict eligibility criteria (including applicant location, stage of innovation, technology domain, etc), limited time frames (6 months – 3 years) and maximum funding (€5000 – €5M).The best thing we can advise is to know your development needs well, and to have a clear outline of the tasks, costs and timelines required to bring your innovation to the next level. This will then help you decide which grant programs are suitable for you.

One service we offer is the Funding Advice Scan, where we work with clients to identify and outline their funding needs, following which our Strategic Funding Unit comes back with a report of all the available funding opportunities that are suitable for you.

How do you start proposal preparation and how do you build a good concept?

Before we start writing any grant proposal, we always make sure we have a clear idea of the project concept. To do this, we have several interview-style sessions with our clients and work with them to prepare a concept document in which we describe both the outline of the proposal, as well the details the most important aspects of the project. It is important to get these details on paper, because it will help you structure your thoughts and help you identify any gaps in your concept that you need to consider/reconsider. A good proposal is one where all the aspects (background, team strengths, work plan etc) are well thought out and fit together nicely. It makes sense to spend extra time and effort on developing a solid concept, because once you have all your ideas in place, the writing phase will be easier.

We want to apply for an Eurostars grant. How do we build an effective consortium?

An Eurostars project is one where multiple partners, SME or academic from participating Eurostars countries, are coming together to develop a new innovation. The best type of consortium is one where each partner brings some form of innovation, either to the main product itself, or to a side product that will promote the sustainability of the partners’ agenda. Therefore, it is important to probe your potential collaborators on how they would bring innovation to the project, rather than just contribute as would a subcontractor. Consortium building is one of our main expertise, a result of our large network of research-focused SME and academic innovators who we trust and who we know are open to collaborations. We contact potential collaborators and introduce to them the proposal concept, and together we further discuss their own ideas and abilities to bring innovation to the project. We then work with clients to select the most promising collaborators and invite them to join team.


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