While grants can be cumbersome and slow to disperse, these three are not. Also, grants are non-dilutive funding (translation: ” free money”). Don’t expect the process to be effortless or the money to show up tomorrow either. However, these three are worth the effort if you qualify.
The first grant is Johnson & Johnson’s seed grant program through their Corporate Office of Science and Technology (COSAT). You get up to $250K, no strings attached, with a direct line to J&J’s researchers as well as the prestige of being on J&J’s A-list of up-and-coming technologies/startups. The objective is to get to a proof-of-concept stage, which is important to J&J (in case they want to collaborate with you), but just as important to you. NTEC recently participated in helping round up entrepreneurs in North Texas, and along with other entrepreneurial organizations we were able to find 96 promising proposals in a little more than a couple of weeks. Seven of these have been selected for follow-up interviews with the J&J scouting crew. More on how things turned out in future blog postings.Next deadline through NTEC will be summer 2012.
The second interesting grant program is NSF’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Program. It has a few more restrictions but is brand new and very interesting to early stage startups. The objective is to give project teams access to resources to help determine the readiness to transition technology developed by previously-funded or currently-funded NSF projects. In short, this is a grant to get you quickly to a go/no-go decision. Requirements include that an NSF funded researcher is part of the team (funded in the last 5 years by NSF), seserving as an entrepreneur and an advisor. The NSF grant funds a fast track course at Stanford to help develop the right skills to make an informed decision on whether the project could be commercialized and which route to take. Grants are $50K. Rolling deadline.
The third grant program is a North Texas-specific grant opportunity through TEXMED. This Collaborative Research Funding Program in Medical Technologies is a joint program supported by UTA, UTD, UNTHSC, THRE and TI. It is meant to facilitate collaborations in research in order to develop medical technologies in critical healthcare areas. This is more of a classic grant; however, chances of funding should be a lot better. Up to $100K. February 24th, 2012 deadline.
Happy grant hunting.