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EXECUTION Is it okay to get government funding for start-ups?

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gileneusz

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Hi, I've remain silent for long time, because I focused on execution of my idea. I learned coding a lot and created prototype. However it's clear now that this journey is much longer than I expected and I simply cannot figure it all out on my own. Bad coding correction, law stuff, EU policies on privacy, accounting and billing seems to much for me. I know it's not impossible to get this stuff in order but it will take a lot of time, and - I'm running out of money :D

I've found an option to get funding from European Union which is some kind of governement funding in my country. They gave me quite a lot of money to start my company, and it's not a loan. Just a funding to make accounting/law/billing stuff. For me it would be blessing, I will do everyting what I need to start.

But I'm not sure if it's a good thing. I know - just get free money and don't care about anything, just focus on creating business. But is it good path? Should I get "free" money? Or should I figure it out by myself? No funding, just F** all.

To get this funding I need to show my business model, business plan and join incubation plan. It will take few months of working on this stuff. How much money I'm able to get? $0,5 mln in US purchasing power.

I will not give any shares. This is just pure funding, no loan, no shares.
 

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Kak

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Your venture must be in the interest of the government.

The way I would look at it is this... You’ll end up paying it all back in taxes one day anyway. If they’re offering, and you aren’t doing anything ethically shady to make this happen, take them up.
 
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gileneusz

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Thanks for tip, I also share the same perspective. However I also rememeber MJ's advice on DOING EVERYTHING BY YOURSELF :D

And that's my source of doubt :) Need MJ's blessing for doing this
 

MTEE1985

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First thing I would say is if you’re looking for MJ’s blessing you have a better shot if he reads this post out of the hundreds posted every day that no human could possibly read 100% of so I’ll help you out... @MJ DeMarco

You’re welcome.

Second thing is a prediction: MJ is going to offer words of wisdom but likely no “blessing”

Lastly, if it indeed works the way you lay it out in your OP you would be foolish not to take their money.
 

Stargazer

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If you are eligible for funding then take it.

The EU sets aside billions of Euros a year to help businesses in various ways and if what you require is congruent with one of those funding bodies aims then you submit your application and if approved get the money.

Here is an example.

British companies are lagging behind all G7 countries for productivity.

So one fund in the UK (£50 million) is to help SME implement either cloud based accounting or cloud based supply chain management systems.

It is free money as it benefits the country in the long term.

Hardly a cheat if you are eligible.

Dan
 
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gileneusz

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Thanks for post, I am eligible because I've got the prototype and it's the perfect time to get this funding
 

Stargazer

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Ok so primarily you have high growth potential (future employment benefits) and/or some competitive advantage that aligns with EU goals.

If you get launched and grow you will need staff and that will give you access to training grants.

The list goes on.

Dan
 

404profound

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The government will throw money at a retarted goat... look at how much student loan debt they've single-handedly funded. The government has no capability to innovate on its own, it RELIES on startups to do that for them. Think of the consulting firms winning multimillion dollar contracts just to do routine bullshit to sustain their low level of performance.. nevermind introducing novel ideas and offering improvements.
 

Tony Tong

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Thanks for tip, I also share the same perspective. However I also rememeber MJ's advice on DOING EVERYTHING BY YOURSELF :D

And that's my source of doubt :) Need MJ's blessing for doing this
I think when MJ says this he is more of referring to the mindset of taking ownership, responsibility for your things and your business because even when things go wrong for you, it still goes wrong for you even if it is caused by your customer/ partner/ government because you GAVE them the opportunity to screw you over.

I think the context is that it's good you havan e outside interest in funding and supercharging your business (not to mention impress friends), but in reality, if your business can't survive without this funding, it's not a productocracy. If anyone isn't willing to hold the fort on their own with or without funding, then it's a loss cause.
 

maverick

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How will more money help?

Have you create a product/service that is better than what's currently available? Or do you want to use the money to create the product/service?

Do you have a route-to-market to find suitable customers? And do you want to use the money to scale your approach?

If not: then more money will not solve anything.
 

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Xeon

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Take the money! Starting a business is hard enough already, why handicap yourself further?

It's like playing a video game, reaching the final boss, and then deliberately throwing away all your potions and legendary weapons, and choose to use a wooden sword instead.
 

jpn

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I have experience receiving money from the EU as a start-up.

My advice would be to read the fine print. Especially on reporting requirements and spending rules.

Generally speaking, best money ever. But it’s not “free” depending on the specific rules that apply.

You may have to finance part yourself, either in cash or in kind. And if you cannot prove and report that correctly they can and will come after you.

And depending on the funding agency, the specific reporting and accounting rules may be so strict you’d need to hire a specialist accountant to handle it for you. But this is usually proportional to the amount. Either way expect overhead to increase.
 
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gileneusz

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I think when MJ says this he is more of referring to the mindset of taking ownership, responsibility for your things and your business because even when things go wrong for you, it still goes wrong for you even if it is caused by your customer/ partner/ government because you GAVE them the opportunity to screw you over.

I think the context is that it's good you havan e outside interest in funding and supercharging your business (not to mention impress friends), but in reality, if your business can't survive without this funding, it's not a productocracy. If anyone isn't willing to hold the fort on their own with or without funding, then it's a loss cause.
Fully agree - if you have wrong business model, and then get a lot of funding - it's wrong way trip. Your feedback loop is damaged and not effective, you hire more people than necessary and spend your "free" cash frevously, just like you win it on lottery... after three years it's all gone and your company still need to live. I see this as very risky and dangerous strategy for startups.

How will more money help?

Have you create a product/service that is better than what's currently available? Or do you want to use the money to create the product/service?

Do you have a route-to-market to find suitable customers? And do you want to use the money to scale your approach?

If not: then more money will not solve anything.
Either way expect overhead to increase.
and this is the same case - for most of your necessary execution steps, you don't need any money. In my case however I need to figure out law/accounting/logo/payments/billing stuff. So barriers of entry cannot be ignored. I'm 50:50 on this...

I have experience receiving money from the EU as a start-up.

My advice would be to read the fine print. Especially on reporting requirements and spending rules.

Generally speaking, best money ever. But it’s not “free” depending on the specific rules that apply.

You may have to finance part yourself, either in cash or in kind. And if you cannot prove and report that correctly they can and will come after you.

And depending on the funding agency, the specific reporting and accounting rules may be so strict you’d need to hire a specialist accountant to handle it for you. But this is usually proportional to the amount. Either way expect overhead to increase.
And that's another trap - you spend your "free" money and BAM - you did it wrong - please return them with interests or go to jail :D


Take the money! Starting a business is hard enough already, why handicap yourself further?

It's like playing a video game, reaching the final boss, and then deliberately throwing away all your potions and legendary weapons, and choose to use a wooden sword instead.
And this is the advice that everyone is telling me, take the money, don't think about it...

Huge thanks guys for advices, I haven't decided yet
 

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