So, you’ve got your idea down on paper, you perhaps have a quote from a software developer, and now you just need the money to get started. This might seem like a trivial problem, but a lack of funding can stop a project in its tracks before it has even got started.
As a software development agency who partners primarily with start-ups and entrepreneurs, this is a story we’ve heard many times. So, we’ve compiled a handy list of ways you could fund your new tech start-up.
1. Grant funding
The Scottish Enterprise By Design grant is one that we point most of our potential clients towards — in fact, nearly all of them go on to securing this grant with our support. The grant offers £2000-£5000 to build or improve a product or service, given that you contribute at least 30% of the cost of your project.
Building a Minimum Viable Product, or MVP, is one of the examples Scottish Enterprise offers as a good reason for applying for the grant. To qualify for this funding, you must have a registered company or social enterprise in Scotland and be able to demonstrate the benefits of your project. If you need help with this, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us — our Product Design sessions are formulated specifically for tackling issues like this.
Scottish Enterprise also has a range of follow-on support after you’ve used the By Design grant, such as their innovation pipeline. We can assist you with putting together a plan to secure that grant funding and more.
Another slightly different option for funding is crowdfunding. Sites like Crowdcube allows people to easily invest in startups they believe in. Companies create a showcase page and individuals are then able to invest anything from £10 in the startups alongside venture capital firms. Crowdcube’s platform lets you pitch to 440,000 potential investors, angels and VCs, as well as your friends and family.
There are also plenty of other crowdfunding platforms such as Seedrs and Fundable. We can help you put together your crowdfunding pitch and support it through to completion.
Scottish Edge is a competition whose aim is to support innovative entrepreneurs. As well as offering funding up to £150,000, they also provide their winners with ongoing support. Additionally, EDGE has a separate category for companies with directors aged 18–30, Young EDGE, which offers grants of up to £10,000. To qualify for any of the Scottish Edge grants, you must have been a trading company for less than five years and be based in Scotland.
4. Accelerator programs
In partnership with CodeBase, PwC recently launched the SCALE: Edinburgh initiative in an effort to strengthen Edinburgh’s status as a thriving hub for scale-ups. The 10-week programme will offer participants with business development education as well as support in securing more funding and commercial opportunities. While the programme itself does not include a grant for the participating businesses, the connections it offers will certainly offer many great chances to secure funding.
This is another option that is more suited to established companies who are wanting to scale up — as the name of the programme suggests — so if you’re only just starting out with registering your company, some of the other resources listed in this article, as well as many of Bad Dinosaur’s services, might be more helpful to you.
5. Debt funding
The Scottish Microfinance Fund offers small (£500-£25,000) low-interest loans to both new and established companies in Scotland. After going through their simple and quick application progress, the Microfinance Fund are often able to offer support even when other loan providers have been unable to do so. Apart from the Microfinance Fund, its distributor, DSL Business Finance Ltd also offers support for startups in Scotland through consulting, mentoring and financial advice on a variety of topics.
There are also peer to peer lenders such as Funding Circle who can help with debt funding. Funding Circle has helped over 64,000 businesses get access to easy and fast funding.
Still unsure about the real costs of building an app? Check out this handy price calculator we put together: https://howmuchtodevelopmobileapp.com/
Russ Peterson is a director of Bad Dinosaur, a software design and development agency in Scotland focused on building Minimum Viable Products through lean/agile, a collaborative “co-design” process, and good communication.
Find out more at www.baddinosaur.co.uk