As an aspiring entrepreneur, you probably have an idea that you believe can change, if not revolutionize an industry or a market. You have the knowledge of what to do, but you may need help to bring your idea to market.
Funding innovation and business development is a pivotal aspect for any company, especially for startups. That’s why it’s great to have institutions like Innovation Norway that offer grants to startups. Did you know that Innovation Norway offers partial financing so startups can do the all-important market clarification and commercialization of projects?
If you are applying for a grant, here are a few things that Innovation Norway look for in the application:
- You need to be able to communicate the business idea clearly and what is unique about the way you are resolving the customers’ problems.
- List the competitive advantages and complexities of your solution. This ensures that your business idea will not be easily copied by others.
- Describe the key competence or experience of your core team. Why will you succeed in this business?
- Add a market analysis that establishes market opportunities, potential competitors and alternative products.
- You can also describe the activities you will carry out in each phase (market clarification and commercialization), and what is the purpose of these activities.
In the initial phase, a startup can receive grants anywhere between 50 000 NOK to 100 000 NOK. In the second phase, when a startup has established the potential to grow, it can receive up to 500 000 NOK.
Startup is a journey, there are no wrong or right decisions, but a few correct choices can definitely smoothen the journey. Why don’t we offer you a few insights which can help you take those correct decisions? Read our 8 Step journey on how to build a startup.
Got the funding? Here’s how to ensure you use the funds wisely
If you receive grants from Innovation Norway, you want to get the most out of the funding. As a startup, it can be hard to decide what will provide the most value in those early stages – especially if your business idea involves technology or applying new technology like blockchain as your core value proposition. Here is how Akeo can help.
The first phase of this journey we call Akeo Tech-Start. This is our method to bridge the gap between business and technology, and further accelerate growth. Our experience says that a startup’s biggest need falls into either of the following categories, if not both;
- Market validation: determine if there is a need for the product in the market
- Investor’s interest: get the interest of investors, so the product/idea can be funded
Market validation aims at identifying exactly what makes your business idea unique in the market, and how it fits into the technology situation of the world. With Akeo Tech-Start, we create an early prototype of your idea that you can use as a visual tool for communication and testing. Sometimes it’s only a clickable prototype, other times it can include some back-end integration, depending on the needs of the product.
To achieve both market validation and investor’s interest, a startup needs a technical partner that can showcase the idea/product efficiently. The most important thing here is not a perfect product ready to launch. It’s just developing the most interesting feature able to hook both investors and potential customers to your idea.
Akeo’s Project Director, Sofie Stuen Bennia explains: “developing something that does not have a market fit is one of the many traps a startup fall into. If you develop the entire system and then go live, there is a big possibility that there is no market for it. If you tested your value proposition early, you would have caught that quicker, and could make adjustments based on that.”
Do you have any questions? Feel free to send Sofie an email
In our journey, we have come across many startups who has a clear notion of what they want to do, and what technology they want to apply to their business. But others need to explore if it’s possible to use for, example, blockchain in their startup idea.
“I was well impressed as we received a working prototype that can actually perform test transactions on blockchain and that too on a budget. Many were stunned that we not only got the technical help but the team had delivered the prototype for 100,000 NOK.”
– Nedim Mavric, CEO Adress
In another one of our partner projects, Wakandi, we feel proud to say that it is amongst the first projects to be backed by the partnership of Innovation Norway and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Cooperatives Kenya. The aim of this collaboration is to strengthen the cooperation to launch Norwegian innovative solutions in Kenya. With a clear business model, Wakandi has been able to not only offer validity of its solution in the market but also is on the journey towards scaling the project.