Here at Realise Product Design HQ, as part of launching successful new product ideas, we’re often giving help and advice to entrepreneurs starting up their business. Most ‘start ups’ could do with some funding to help kick start their business. And we know that launching a new product can be especially expensive – tooling, setting up production and your first delivery can be a mighty wedge of cash. Of course the Realise Product Launch Process is designed to reduce your risk (that’s a whole other subject), but even following the best process in the world, most people need some extra funds to launch.
These days with banks so reluctant to lend, we’re always on the look out for good alternatives. Whilst we’re in the process of producing a comprehensive guide, we thought it would be good to give you a mini rundown in the interim. Of course we won’t admit that we’ve ‘cracked it’ as every funding situation is different, but we hope that this will provide you with a starting point to getting a much needed leg up to launch your new product.
General help for start up businesses
- http://www.startups.co.uk/ a very useful site which is crammed full of help for start up businesses
- https://www.gov.uk/browse/business/setting-up a good site with easy to read section for setting up in business.
- Business link was the first place to go for start up businesses, at the end of last year they were scraped and replaced by the National Enterprise Network http://www.nationalenterprisenetwork.org/ you can click on your region and that will take you to your local business support agency.
- http://www.smallbusiness.co.uk/channels/start-a-business/ another useful site with lots of top 10 tips.
An angel investor or angel (also known as a business angel or informal investor) is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. A small but increasing number of angel investors organize themselves into angel groups or angel networks to share research and pool their investment capital, as well as to provide advice to their portfolio companies.
- http://www.ukbusinessangelsassociation.org.uk/ The UK Business Angels Association is the national trade association representing angel and early stage investment in the UK.
- http://www.angelsden.com/ Angels Den brings owners of growing businesses together with angel investors to get great businesses funded.
- http://www.companypartners.com/ Entrepreneurs could you do better with a like-minded business partner? You will find that growing a business, getting great business ideas and having the confidence and skills to drive it forward is easier. Together you are able to motivate, brainstorm, plan and just generally get the whole process going quicker and with more chance of success.
- http://www.lbangels.co.uk/ London Business Angels (LBA) is one of Europe’s leading Angel Investment Networks. We connect innovating fast growth technology companies to equity finance through our membership of experienced angel investors. Operating since the early 1980s, LBA has the longest track record in the business.
https://www.wongabusiness.com/ Wonga for Business is a ground-breaking, online business lender. Our new service is powered by the same technology used by Wonga.com, one of the world’s most innovative credit providers, which has already processed millions of consumer loans.
Our mission is to solve businesses’ short term and urgent cash flow needs with an equally short term and responsible solution.
- http://www.businesscashadvance.co.uk/ We work in partnership with Lloyds TSB Cardnet® to offer the business Cash Advance service as an alternative to an unsecured business loan or bank overdraft. Thousands of UK businesses have benefited from our Business Cash Advance service and proudly we are now the largest provider of cash advances to the UK’s small business community. http://www.natwest.com/personal/loans.ashx
- http://www.shell-livewire.org/business-library/funding/competitions-and-awards/ have a list of their competitions and other websites with competitions and awards
- http://www.newspapersoc.org.uk/accelerate-me this is called a Local Business Accelorator, Realise took part, it was quick and easy to do!
- http://millionpoundstartup.com/enter/ A competition launched in London aims to create a cross between X Factor and Dragon’s Den by offering £1m to a startup business.
- https://vouchers.innovateuk.org/Innovation Vouchers
- Available if you are a start-up, micro, small or medium-sized business located anywhere in the UK
- Up to £5,000 for your business to obtain the help of an external expert to develop ideas and improve performance
- Issued every 3 months around specific themes
- Round 2 themes Agrifood, Built Environment and Energy, Water and Waste
- https://fsbstreamlineawards.co.uk/The FSB and Streamline, have launched a nationwide award scheme to highlight the importance of small businesses. Winning companies will receive national recognition, the potential of local and national media coverage, usage of the awards logo to promote your business excellence to your customers, investors or partners and cash prizes!
- http://www.ukbusinessgrants.org/ they have a useful tool whereby you can fill out a simple 6 step form to see what type of funding is needed for your business.
- http://www.kickstarter.com Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others. Since our launch on April 28, 2009, over $350 million has been pledged by more than 2.5 million people, funding more than 30,000 creative projects.
Research & Development Grants
- http://www.innovateuk.org/content/competition/smart.ashxThe Grant for Research and Development scheme will offer SME’s three types of grant:
- Proof-of-market grants up to £25,000 will enable companies to assess commercial viability through, for example, market research, market testing and initial planning;
- Proof-of-concept grants up to £100,000 will help companies to explore the technical feasibility and commercial potential of a new technology, product or process through, for example, a feasibility study, basic prototyping and specialist testing
- Development-of-prototype grants up to £250,000 will be used by companies to develop a technologically innovative product, service or industrial process. This might include small demonstrators, intellectual property protection, market testing and product design.
- We also spoke to Bernard Brooks who runs a company called http://www.writeassist.co.uk/ . They help individuals write their R&D grants forms.
Other useful and nice interesting sites