Almost every federal and state government is eager to promote their own startup ecosystem. How can you take advantage of this support?
For US-based companies, a good starting place is Grants.gov, where you can find a fairly comprehensive directory of federal grants, searchable by keyword, agency, funding-type, and date. For innovation research and technology transfer funding, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) are competitive programs that encourage domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) with the potential for commercialization. GrantWatch centralizes data on US funding opportunities, but its focus is on the non-profit sector, which excludes many startups.
For non-federal grants, we suggest search for “technology grants” or “innovation grants” in connection with your local state or city. Also, look to your local Small Business Development Center. For state and municipal level resources, explore the Funding Opportunities provided by the EDA. Nerdwallet has compiled specific small-business grants for women, veterans, and minorities.
A number of companies specialize in helping companies leverage government support:
- Neo.tax – helps startups to apply for and secure their startup payroll tax refund.
- Brief – consultancy helping startups access government funding
- Mainstreet – helps startups discover, apply for, and receive government credits and incentives.
From all the diversity that is government-related grants, we’ve squeezed out a shortlist of grant programs related to the regions and industries that many of our portfolio companies are located in (not including federal grants; see Grants.gov for that):
- Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR)
- New York Grant Watch
For advice on contracting with the government:
Many other countries have their own local initiatives; it’s certainly worth researching what’s available.