Public funding opportunities and grants. For early startup companies attracting public funding in the form of grants is an attractive pathway to jumpstart product development. In the United States, every federal agency with extramural research is committed by law to provide a small fraction of their budget to small businesses in the form of grants. Similar mechanisms exist elsewhere on the globe. Generally, these grants do not need to be repaid and they do not require giving up a fraction of the company ownership (equity). This makes them very attractive. Grants can total $1 Million or more for a project and are an attractive alternative to equity investment. With an established track record of over $15 Million raised in small business grants and a hit rate close to 100% we are uniquely positioned to assist and lead submission of grant applications to take advantage of this dilution free funding mechanism.

Angel investment. Angel investors can provide seed investment and participate in early investment rounds. We assist in positioning the technology and market for investors, making connections to potential investors, preparing slide decks and projections, and the process of negotiating and closing a transaction.

Larger investment rounds. Once a company has a proven technology and demonstrated market potential, larger investment rounds need to take place to fund the expansion and growth of a company. In addition to focusing on the company management team, institutional and strategic investors are also looking for sound business plans and projections, good processes and management systems, protection of intellectual property, and clean financial statements and bookkeeping. We assist in all aspects of preparation, connecting with potential investors, negotiating terms and closing a transaction. We also advise on the tricky aspect of special terms (side letters) involved in investment rounds where strategic investors are leading or participating in the round.

Early customers / premium pricing. Often overlooked is the opportunity to sell early products for a premium price to generate additional cash for the company. Exciting new technologies often have great appeal to leading figures and companies in the field which can result in the ability to price the product to cover a lot of the development cost. This may be coupled with some exclusivity terms or early adopter benefits. We assist in developing strategies early on to prevent underpricing the value of the product for early adopters.

Funded development programs. Another related pathway for early funding is to engage customers in a funded development program to give them early access (and perhaps some limited exclusivity) to the product. We put our experience and track record to use to assist in structuring execution-ready programs that resonate with customers. Key components of such programs are clear development plans, milestones, and deliverables.

Stock compensation programs. Many leaders are willing to forego part of their cash compensation in exchange for ownership in the company since they believe in the success and the fantastic opportunity the company has. Putting stock compensation programs in place does not only save cash, but also incentivizes managers and employees to make the company a great success. We assist in stock compensation program design and sizing.