Start-up grants in Ireland: things to do before applying
by Ilya Nikitin
In the previous blog post we described different sources of funding available to the ICT Start-up sector in Ireland. In this post I will explain what you must do before applying for start-up grants in Ireland. At first glance it appears funds are available to everyone and at any time. However, it is not that easy to get a funding, office space or coaching if you have only an idea. It is a commonly known fact that great ideas are worthless without execution.
So you have a million-dollar idea, passion and spirit but where do you start?
Every start-up founder should understand that a grant is a sum of money provided by a government or local authority to fund your project with the objective of creating employment. In the case of VC and Angel Investors funding is granted in exchange for a share of the company. To succeed in acquiring investment you must convince your audience; this requires a good sales pitch. To sell your idea you must be 100% prepared. This means your documented description, research, and market test must show the potential of your business idea and only then will you your application for a grant be successful.
Here are some steps that as a start-up founder you should take before applying for a grant.
Do your research online or offline, make sure that your unique idea doesn’t exist elsewhere. If similar concepts already exist, not to worry. Based on your research write detailed description about your product or service; go through every aspect of it, list every step, process. Answer to the questions, how your concept can be different, unique, efficient, profitable and competitive then others.
There is an old African proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” As this proverb suggests find a like-minded team or co-partner who will share your vision. It good to have people in the team with a wide range of skillsets. This is especially important at the first phases of development.
- Test the market
Based on research and detailed description carried out initially, the market must be tested in order to understand if there is a demand for a particular product or service. There is a number of freely available tools that can be used to test the market for demand.
- A basic online survey (surveymonkey.com) can be carried out to question potential clients. The distribution of survey can be started with family and friends and shared on social network sites. The more answer you will get the better understanding you would have.
- A single page website known as a One-Pager website can be created and published online with a description about the product or service. The web page should have a call to action for people who are interested in the product and who would like to be kept up to date with the product/service so as to make purchases when available. WordPress.org is another ideal free tool to create a powerful website.
This research might take several months but after this time you should have facts and evidence to proof your concept. Now you are ready to move further and apply for for start-up grants in Ireland.
In next post we will talk about “How to apply for a start-up grant in Ireland“.