Funding Body Insights

If you're going after grant funding, it's helpful to know precisely what the funding bodies are looking for. In this post, you'll get tips directly from funding body representatives to help improve your chances of success.

It’s time. You’ve done all of the preparation (as outlined in our previous blog post in this Grant Writing 101 Series) and now you’re ready to begin work on the grant application itself. 

Strong Solutions 

When you’re writing, ensure your application is crystal clear about the problem you’re solving and the strong desire for that solution. Nadia Shaikh-Naeem, VP Programs at DIGITAL, says applications for co-investment that stand out for her are innovations that respond directly to market needs. She explains, they’re “looking for projects that exhibit robust demand-driven dynamics, a thorough acknowledgment of the hurdles in innovation adoption, accompanied by a well-defined strategy to overcome them.”

Get Granular 

A strong application goes into robust detail. Clearly outline how your product, platform or service aligns with the goals of the program you’re applying to and ensure the narrative is easy to understand, yet comprehensive in nature. “There are three characteristics that I look for when reviewing grant applications,” says Bibaswan Ghoshal, Senior Director, Technology Adoption at OBIO® , “attention to detail, the right balance of amount of information, and alignment with program goals.”

“Stand out applications are detailed, fact-based, and include robust data supporting the proposed value proposition.”---Bindi Fergusson, Director, Commercialization (Health Innovation) at Alberta Innovates

Highlight the Evidence 

Ensure your application outlines how your company has done its homework… highlight what data your company has collected and how that data will inform your business decisions now and moving forward. Bindi Fergusson, Director, Commercialization (Health Innovation) at Alberta Innovates says, “Stand out applications are detailed, fact-based, and include robust data supporting the proposed value proposition.”

Remember Your Why 

As you go through your application, return regularly to your company’s vision. Remind yourself why you decided to start your company in the first place. Shaikh-Naeem from DIGITAL says staying grounded in your vision will help your application stand out. “This clarity on purpose and value will serve as the driving force behind your application,” says Shaikh-Naeem, “fostering alignment and instilling confidence.” 

And as we outlined in Getting Ready, here’s a reminder to do your research on the grant you’re going after before you write anything. “My top tip to grant writers is to adequately prepare and research the grant before starting the writing process,“ says Ghoshal at OBIO®.

You can even reach out to the funding body directly to ensure it’s a good match for your company and what you’re trying to achieve. “Our number one tip when preparing an application would be to seek guidance from us first to ensure the best program fit,” offers Fergusson at Alberta Innovates.

Ultimately, all of these funding bodies are looking for solutions to important and urgent problems. They want to support entrepreneurs that are building companies that will positively impact all of us. It’s why these agencies are happy to offer these insights.

We know venture building is hard, that’s why we’re all here to help.

The Thin Air Labs Funding Catalyst team has helped hundreds of startups and scaleups across North America secure non-dilutive funding like grants, tax incentives and more. Our team of experienced strategists and writers partner with founders to identify their business objectives and match them with appropriate funding opportunities. Our team saves founders time and energy, allowing them to stay focused on building their businesses.

To learn more about our Funding Catalyst service, go here.

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