Advanced Industries Business Accelerator Grant

The Advanced Industries Business Accelerator Grant is a one-time opportunity that will provide funding to accelerator programs in Colorado that have developed or are developing programming for Colorado early-stage companies in the advanced industries.
 
Applicants can request up to $250,000 and must identify a matching fund of $2-to-$1 non-state funding to state funding. The grant can be used to:

  • fund the development of a new accelerator program
  • fund scholarships for advanced industries early-stage companies to participate in an existing accelerator program

The goal of this grant is to accelerate the commercialization and innovation of advanced industries technologies and companies through education, resources, and mentorship.

The Global Business Development division administers this grant in partnership with Colorado’s advanced industry trade organizations and the Economic Development Commission.

 Applications are open October 6, 2021 to December 6, 2021.

See all Advanced Industries Accelerator Programs

Overview

Type: Grant

For: Accelerator programs based in Colorado

Amount: Up to $250,000 per application

Application period: October 6, 2021 to December 6, 2021

OEDIT division: Global Business Development

You can use these funds to develop a new accelerator program or offset tuition for an existing accelerator program. Businesses cannot apply for funds to attend an accelerator program. Only accelerators can apply for these funds and grant scholarships to businesses.

Funding to develop a new accelerator program

Funding can be used for start-up operational costs of new accelerator programs that are delivering specialized services that do not currently exist in the market for advanced industries early-stage companies. In your application, you will need to explain:

  • the market opportunity and need
  • service offerings
  • plan for continuing the program after the grant funding has run out

Funding to offset tuition for an existing accelerator program

Funding can be used to offset the cost of tuition of existing accelerator programs for advanced industries early-stage companies. In your application, you will need to explain:

  • the competitiveness and impact of the accelerator program
  • service offerings
  • plan for continuing the program after the grant funding has run out

To be eligible, you need to:

  • be an accelerator based in Colorado (advanced industry businesses cannot apply for these funds)
  • be registered and in good standing with the Colorado Secretary of State
  • serve Colorado early-stage companies in one or more advanced industries – companies are considered early-stage in Colorado if they:
    • have their headquarters or 50% of their employees in Colorado
    • have received less than $20 million in third-party capital since the inception of the company
    • have less than $10 million in annual revenue
  • have matching $2-to-$1 non-state funding to state funding
  • have a management team with experience in developing or managing this type of programming
  • have a viable plan for keeping the program running after the grant funds have run out
  • be able to report on the short-term and long-term impacts accelerator participants experience as a result of participating in the accelerator 

We will prioritize projects that:

  • have a significant influence on multiple advanced industries
  • focus on supply chain gaps and supports capability growth within the identified industry or industries
  • directly assists with the state's recruitment or retention efforts
  • show the ability to deploy the funding and create significant impacts within a 12-month time frame
  • are not duplicative of existing programs or initiatives
  • have secured the required match when you apply for funding

Advanced industries technology

A disruptive technology is defined as a significant departure from the currently available technology in the industry. The use of an industry’s currently available technology does not constitute a significant impact. For example, the use of currently available electronics components does not constitute an impact on the electronics industry.

The technology must impact at least one of these advanced industries:

  • advanced manufacturing
  • aerospace
  • bioscience
  • electronics
  • energy and natural resources (including cleantech)
  • infrastructure engineering
  • technology and information

Matching funds

You need to have dedicated money from the associated research institution that is at least two times the requested grant amount at the time of grant execution. For example, if you request a grant of $250,000, you need to identify $500,000 in cash from other sources.

Dedicated money is cash in an account held by the grantee or formally committed by a third-party investor or granting organization. Funds are traceable and committed to the execution of the project work. Dedicated funds are necessary at the time of grant execution.
In-kind contributions do not satisfy matching requirements. Matching funds cannot be OEDIT funding or other state funding, neither directly received, nor received through a third party.

Though dedicated funds are required to execute a grant, an otherwise eligible business may apply to the program without dedicated matching funds. A conditional grant award may be given to an applicant without dedicated matching funds. Should you receive a conditional award, you will have to obtain the required dedicated match within six months of the award notice. If the required dedicated match is not raised within the six-month period, the award is forfeited.

Application process

The application period for this program is October 6, 2021 to December 6, 2021. This grant is intended to be a one-time opportunity for accelerators.

Apply online through the OEDIT application portal. Log in or create a new account. New users are manually added to the portal for security reasons, so it may take several days to activate your account.

Application materials

Required documents
You will need to collect these documents:

  • Business Accelerator Budget Template (XLS)
  • Business Accelerator Milestone Template (XLS)
  • documentation of your matching funds (for example, bank statements and/or committed funding letters in PDF format)
  • CVs for important management members
  • the following annual financial statements (PDF/Excel) for the organization for the past 3 full calendar years and current year to date:
    • balance sheet
    • income statement
    • statement of cash flows
  • letters of support from university or research institution partners, venture capitalists, training programs, advisers, customers, or other relevant stakeholders (optional)

Application outline
Draft your application with the assumption that the reviewers have an undergraduate or master’s level education in both business and the relevant scientific discipline. The application includes the following sections. Some sections are scored, while other sections provide important background information that will help evaluators understand your application.

Section Description Score
Executive Summary a high-level overview of the accelerator and request for funding 0 points
Organization Name and Contact Info identifying information about applicant 0 points
Project Summary and Grant Amount identifies the advanced industry sector and the accelerator’s stage of commercialization and milestones to be accomplished 0 points
Documentation add all required documents to help determine scores in other sections 0 points
Compliance establish eligibility for the grant program and the amount requested 0 points
Business Strategy business history, market, value proposition, revenue streams, and marketing strategy 20 points
Preferences funding preferences based on statute and priorities 15 points
Project Team overview of the project team 20 points
Industry Engagement overview of partnering organization and industry stakeholder involvement 15 points
Statewide and Regional Impacts anticipated impacts for the local and statewide communities 15 points
Sustainability project’s plan for sustainability beyond the grant 15 points

The review process typically takes 10 to 12 weeks. The Advanced Industries Grant staff will communicate all relevant dates to applicants after the application deadline. People reviewing your application have an undergraduate or Master’s-level education or equivalent experience and are familiar with Colorado’s advanced industries.
 
Applications are reviewed in a multi-stage process:

  1. Internal Compliance Review: Applications are first vetted through an internal compliance review to ensure eligibility and all required materials have been submitted. Incomplete applications may be rejected.
  2. Independent Review: Reviewers independently evaluate the applications submitted using a structured scoring system.
  3. Multi-Disciplinary Committee Review Meetings: Reviewers meet for a half-day meeting to discuss the application evaluations and select the most competitive applications for funding.
  4. Economic Development Commission Meeting: Applications recommended for funding will be presented to the Colorado Economic Development Commission for final approval.

Scored sections are evaluated on a 0 to 5 scale.

  • 5 – Excellent: The applicant has included all of the required information and has made a very convincing argument in support of the criterion being scored.
  • 4 – Above Average: The applicant has included all of the required information and has made a reasonable argument in support of the criterion being scored.
  • 3 – Good: The applicant has included most of the required information and has made a fair argument in support of the criterion being scored.
  • 2 – Fair: The applicant has included most of the required information but has not made a fair argument in support of the criterion being scored.
  • 1 – Poor: The applicant has not included enough of the required information to make a fair argument in support of the criterion being scored.
  • 0 – Nothing Provided: The applicant neglected to include any relevant information.

Rejected applications

Rejected applications may be re-worked and resubmitted in the next grant cycle. There is no appeals process, but applicants can request feedback as directed in the decline notice. Reviewer names are not shared to maintain a fair and impartial grant review process.

Once an application is approved, applicants must execute a formal grant agreement with OEDIT prior to obligating or spending any grant funds. Project milestones and budgets will be defined in the agreement. Unused funds must be returned to OEDIT and the program fund.

Applicants will need to report on specific performance measures, including but not limited to:

  • number of businesses assisted
  • success rate of businesses assisted
  • job creation by client companies
  • sales levels achieved by client companies
  • level of investment in or amount of funding raised by client companies

Review the Colorado Special Provisions. The expenditure of both grant and matching funds must comply with the approved project budget. Once you have been notified of an award, you may begin spending matching funds. Grant funds may not be spent until a grant agreement has been executed, meaning it has received final signature by the State Controller or designee.

The intent of this grant program is to provide support to businesses that will actively pursue commercial development and manufacture of the product or technology within Colorado. In the event that a company supported by this award relocates or moves outside of the state (and therefore no longer meets the original grant eligibility criteria) within 24 months of the conclusion of a grant, the company shall be obligated to reimburse the Advanced Industries Grant Program for the full amount of the award, over a payback period of no more than 60 months. Such reimbursements shall be made to OEDIT and will be used to support future advanced industries programs and activities. For purposes of the foregoing, a company will be deemed to have moved its operations out of Colorado if:

  • the company does not have a headquarters in Colorado
  • less than 50% of its employees reside in Colorado

In applying for this grant, you are providing information to the State of Colorado. As the submitter, you have an obligation to carefully review all information provided to ensure it is accurate to the best of your knowledge and it does not contain any omissions, misrepresentations or factual errors. The reviewers of this application reserve the right to validate or check any information provided by the applicant, and if errors, omissions or misrepresentations are found, to modify the responses to correct for these deficiencies in evaluating the application and/or cancel any grant awards based on such deficiencies. Deliberately providing factual errors, omissions or misleading information to the State of Colorado as part of this application may be subject to penalties and sanctions as allowable by law.

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