Grants in the Startup World.

FREE MONEY!!… But not.

Grants. Grants. Grants. For being a venture capitalist, I definitely talk about grants a lot in meetings. Grants from Canada, grants from universities, grants from foundations. I think that it’s because of the type of startup we work with, but for international, or science based founders, grants seem to be a distraction for all our founders.

Grants are this way for Foundations, Organizations, Governments or individuals to give money to concepts they want to see developed. In Canada there is an amazing R&D grant that can apply to hiring software developers that gives you up to 70% of the money spent, back. I have mixed feelings about grants.

In my mind, entrepreneurs are on a path. The path winds around, goes backwards sometimes, weaves through the trees a bit. There is a paved road forward and a paved road behind. Grants seem like a fork in the road, where you divide the time of your team and your focus and convince yourself that you are:

“Building something that we were going to build anyway.”

But were you?

Look, entrepreneurs need to find a way to build their vision, and sometimes funding is required, but grants seem to be like a simple way to distract people from their vision. You build what someone else wants to build rather than your vision.

Time away from your vision is bad. Losing focus is bad. It distracts from the core of your decision making.

It’s not: “Free money.” It’s money that cost you time and resources.

By Adam Draper

I ponder as a VC.

It's a quick one minute read to make you think, smile, or laugh.

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