On the 14th of August, the Canberra Innovation Connect Growth team led two sessions about the Innovation Connect (ICON) grant. The seminar was a more in-depth look at the application process and how to get the most out of your application.

Couldn’t make the session? Here are the basics:

What is the grant?

ICON offers eligible early-stage innovative entrepreneurs and startups an opportunity to apply for a competitive matched-funded grant of between $10,000 – $30,000. The grant is to help new innovative startups and entrepreneurs with getting their project to the next stage, funding product development, building prototypes, and assist with developing a go to market plan.

What could a strong application look like?

You should have, or be developing:

  • An innovative product or service.
  • An innovation with high growth potential.
  • Global/export potential.
  • The ability to make it happen. The grant not only looks at the innovation, but the person behind the innovation!

The process

  • Book an intro meeting at the Canberra Innovation Network.
  • After an intro meeting, you will be invited to submit an EOI which includes a 60 second pitch about you and your innovation.
  • EOI’s that make it through will be shortlisted by an independent panel.
  • Shortlisted submissions will be invited to submit a full application which includes a three-minute pitch, followed by a Q&A with the panel.
  • The ICON grant panel likes to move fast, soon after your three-minute pitch and Q&A – you will be advised of your outcome.
  • Successful applicants will now create and enter a funding agreement with the Canberra Innovation Network. Grant recipients will receive 50% of the funding upon signing the funding agreement, and 50% once you have achieved milestones set by you!

The Expression of Interest Walkthrough

An important part of the EOI is your one sentence summary of what you are doing. This is the easiest and quickest way for the panel to understand what your innovation is and where you want to take it.

The EOI is your opportunity to show the panel your high-level value proposition. This includes:

  • Who is your customer: is it a business, consumer, what is their behavior, where can we find this customer, what do we know about them?
  • What is the problem your customer is experiencing?
  • How does your solution solve your customer’s problem? Talk innovation!
  • How is your solution different from competing solutions?
  • What are the key milestones for your business over the next 12 months?
  • What do you plan to spend the grant funds on?

Funding for the ICON grant is currently open, with applications closing on Friday the 13th of September. To find out more about Icon you can visit our website, or book an intro meeting with one of our Growth team and tell us your innovation!

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