by our Head of Story, Leah Sarich (March 2021)
Building a company that’s going to solve one of the world’s biggest problems is really hard. Entrepreneurs work 24/7. They’re trying to get their passion project off the ground with very few resources, if any at all.
This level of stress and anxiety, not to mention drive and ambition, is something we understand at Thin Air Labs because we’ve been there.
Our empathy for the founder inspired us to develop a strategic selection of Venture Impact Services. These services are designed to help entrepreneurs move their ventures from idea to impact.
One of these services is called the Funding Catalyst. We developed this service to help entrepreneurs find funding that will take their business to the next stage. We know founders don’t have time to research the hundreds of programs out there, nor do they want to be distracted from the critical work of building their business their way.
At Thin Air Labs, a Funding Catalyst will take the time to deeply understand a founder’s vision for their venture, then they will matchmake that venture with the appropriate non-dilutive funding program. This service will improve the founder’s odds of securing funding that fits within the context of their overall financing strategy.
"...it probably takes 20 hours off a founders plate, and that’s 20 hours the founder just doesn’t have," ---Andrew Browne, Funding Catalyst Lead
The Funding Catalyst will save the founder precious time and energy. They’ll also ensure a founder doesn’t have to shift the vision of their venture to access a funding program.
Andrew Browne, our Funding Catalyst Lead explains, “there are over 1200 different funding programs available for innovation-based startups and innovation-based companies in Canada, so it’s really difficult to keep track of all of them.”
So we do it for founders instead.
“We help them compile all the documents they need, tell the story of what they’re trying to do with a narrative that government audiences can relate to and understand, “ Andrew explains. “Realistically, per application, it probably takes 20 hours off a Founders plate, and that’s 20 hours the founder just doesn’t have to focus on these things. It’s often something founders do on the side, and they’re not successful at it.”
This deep understanding of a venture allows for better success when pairing a venture with a funding source.
“In order to have the most impact, we have to build a long term, meaningful relationship with them, and deeply understand what they’re trying to do, what the founding vision of the company is, and what success looks like for them in 3 to 5 years from now,” says Andrew.
Partnering with a Funding Catalyst is usually the earliest engagement Thin Air Labs has with a venture. But when founders secure their funding, they often use some of that money to access more of our Impact Services, helping that venture to move forward even faster.
“The funding secured by the Funding Catalyst team at Thin Air will play a key role in helping us scale our company to the next level." --- Josh Malate, CFO, Athennian
This is exactly what happened with Athennian, a cloud-based legal entity management platform.
“We found them a program designed to support them where they were at in their growth, at the right time," says Andrew. "We unlocked hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of funding for them to help them grow and scale without having to further dilute themselves or take on debt funding which is almost impossible to do for a software company with a traditional bank.”
Athennian's CFO Josh Malate says, “the funding secured by the Funding Catalyst team at Thin Air will play a key role in helping us scale our company to the next level. We developed a meaningful relationship with Thin Air Labs that continues to this day.”
Watch this video for more from Josh Malate on the Funding Catalyst service.
Andrew hopes more ventures will see the value in the Funding Catalyst Venture Impact Service. He says it’s a simple formula, “we just matchmake them with the right program at the right time to have the most impact on their venture journey.”
If you’d like more information on the Funding Catalyst service, fill out this form.
If you’d like to join the Thin Air Labs team and become a Funding Catalyst, check out the job description here.