In the U.S., there’s Federal and State funding available to small businesses and startups. The challenge for many startups in Columbia, MD, however, is knowing how to tap into that pool. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as filling out an online form!
Tapping Into Maryland’s Funding Sources
Luckily for fledgling businesses in Maryland, there are amazing government funding and incentive programs that they can tap into. However, just because the money is there, doesn’t mean:
– …you’re eligible to access it; or
– …if you apply for program financing, that you will receive it
A myriad of state and partner entities manage those programs, and each have their own qualification criterion. There are Loans, Grants, and Tax Credits. You’ll see seed funding and equity investment opportunities. And, depending on what type of business you’re venturing into, and which industry you wish to serve, the eligibility criteria might vary. That’s where startup services in Columbia, MD can help.
To put things in perspective, in 2022 alone, various programs funded 705 small business initiatives to the tune of $70,465,210, for projects costing $259,249,940. Qualified businesses potentially received up to 1-million dollars in loan guarantees. But tapping into that kind of money requires a cohesive strategy.
Getting it Right
If you are looking to finance your fledgling venture, it’s worth noting that the diligence required by lenders and financers can be intimidating. And, if this is the first startup you are looking to finance, then you should consider reaching out to startup services in Columbia, MD. With their experience in navigating the Maryland startup financing landscape, you may be one step closer to securing the funds you need.
Other ventures are vying for those funds too! So, what are the ingredients that will put you in a better position than your competitors?
1. A good business plan: The main artifact that financiers (and government donors) look at is the business plan. It outlines the major milestones they evaluate: What your business seeks to achieve; the market research that supports your objectives; a sound marketing plan; the short, medium, and long-term financial projections supported by that research. If you put such a plan together, then funding might be assured – but not guaranteed!
2. Experience and expertise: Before they commit to a round of funding, financiers, be they private or government sources, always want to ensure there’s relevant experience and expertise behind the venture. If your team doesn’t have the requisite skills and know how, the in-house Innovation Center team can support you in building those capabilities.
3. Coaching, learning, networking: As the leader of a new venture, you’ll have your hands full navigating through the day-to-day activities of your startup. It’s hard to also spend time looking for learning opportunities, mentors, coaches and peer-group networking. However, if you want to ensure your business remains financially sound – not just now, but through other stages of its evolution – you and your team must constantly learn, network, and shadow other veterans who’ve been in your shoes before.
The only way to get all these mandates right is to work with startup services in Columbia, MD who have the staff, knowhow and local and international resources to help you. And it’s available under a single umbrella. The other option, for fledgling companies, is to scour the state and the country (and the globe!) to acquire that level of support.