Whether you’re a first time developer or a seasoned XR founder, you’re probably in need of some expansion funds to help get your project to the next level. Are you struggling to hire your first star coder? Do you need funds for hardware costs? This resource will help you find over 100 grants to fund your XR startup. Let’s dive in.
Jump to a section that interests you:
- Small Business Grants: Federal
- Small Business Grants: State
- Small Business Grants: Local
- Small Business Grants: Corporate
- Small Business Grants: Women
- Small Business Grants: Minorities
- Small Business Grants: Veterans
Small Business Grants: Federal
First things first: you should know that there is federal money for pushing science and technology projects forward. These government initiatives are open for enrollment year round– just make sure you fit the grant’s criteria and turn everything in by each grant’s due date.
Joining the Admix Academy Facebook Group is a great place to start. We provide a ton of resources like these lists to keep you in the loop about what kind of funding you can get behind your project.
You may want to try out a few at first to see where you get the most traction. Usually, once you’ve completed a few gigs you’ll start to receive reviews so it can pay to concentrate your efforts on just a few platforms and build up your cred enough that the work will start rolling in much more easily.
Here are some worth checking out!
- Small Business Innovation Research Program
- National Institute of Standards & Technology
- National Science Foundation
- Department of Energy
- Department of Education
Small Business Grants: State
Next, consider looking into the resources that the state you reside provides. Virtually every state within the US offers some form of financial assistance to entrepreneurs looking to create job growth in their state.
Kansas, for instance, has a job creation fund that gives grants to businesses looking for help establishing themselves in Kansas.
Arkansas, for instance, has a Technology Transfer Assistance Grant Program funded by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, which offers grants to small businesses that develop technology responding to industry-driven issues.
Lastly North Carolina, in addition to many other states, has an IDEA fund. IDEA gives out grants of up to $50,000 and has sponsored nearly 100 high-tech companies with growth potential.
Small Business Grants: Local
Funding can also be found on the more local level, within municipalities, cities, and counties.
Look into your local government organizations for more info into possible sources of funding. Start by looking into the chamber of commerce of your local city and consider branching out from there to neighboring chambers of commerce, and city councils. Many local governments are interested in growing the presence of VR/AR technology within their jurisdictions. Also, try calling your local government representative to learn more about the resources that are out there to help you!
Numerous cities, in this case, Cleveland, will have many grants for small business as well as initiatives to foster entrepreneurship. For example, check out…
Technology Development Grant Programs
The Cleveland Department of Economic Development, like State and Federal programs, has several small business grants to encourage new technology developments. Unlike Federal programs, however, local programs are generally more interested in job creation than in the development of groundbreaking new technologies. But why not do both?
Job Creation Tax Abatements
Cleveland has a job creation tax abatement program. You might also be located within an Enterprise Zone (as Ohio terms it), or a similar type of area, which offers tax incentives for projects or operations that create jobs. These aren’t technically small business grants, but they work the same way and more importantly, they save you money!
Green Technology Grants
Cleveland has a Green Technology Business Grant Program which is an enormously beneficial program, that many other cities provide, offers significant financial initiatives to practice environmentally sustainable business practices. So consider going green to save with your small business.
Small Business Grants: Corporate
There are numerous corporations that provide financial assistance to small businesses looking to improve or expand their businesses’ development. Many companies are especially interested in pursuing opportunities to fund XR related technologies.
Once all the pesky financial business is handled, you can get back to the part of the job that got you into XR in the first place.
Be sure to check out these awesome corporate grant opportunities!
- Chase Mission Main Street Grants
- Visa Everywhere Initiative
- FedEx Small Business Grant
- Wells Fargo Community Investment
- Walmart Foundation
- ExxonMobile Foundation
- Coca-Cola Foundation
Small Business Grants: Women
If you are a woman involved in the tech space then there are numerous resources out there to help you succeed. Many organizations provide funding to organizations owned and run by women in an effort to combat the longstanding disparity regarding women in business and tech. There are programs which provide not just financial aid, but advice, and networking opportunities as well. Be sure to explore them all!
Here are just of few of the numerous opportunities worth exploring.
- Eileen Fisher Program
- Zions Bank Smart Women Grants
- Walmart Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative
- The Amber Grant
- InnovateHER Women Business Challenge
Small Business Grants: Minorities
There are also excellent resources to help minority-owned businesses not just within the tech space but within other industries as well. These organizations provide not just funding but also mentorship and networking opportunities. You can find these resources and programs created to help small businesses owned by ethnic minorities through both government and private organizations. Here are a few examples to help you start your search.
Within the U.S. Department of Commerce, the MBDA is an agency that helps minority-owned firms create jobs, scale their company, increase revenues, and expand. MBDA provides increased visibility and access for minority-owned firms by partnering with multi-national corporations, and government agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The MBDA has regular grant competitions for minority business owners, alongside a long list of other resources for you to learn from.
This program is definitely not a grant—however, it is a federally-funded initiative aimed towards helping minority-owned small businesses capture more clients and work, so we decided to include it. The SBA’s 8(a) program helps “socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain access to the economic mainstream of American society”—or in other words, it guarantees minority-owned businesses special government contracts that they might otherwise not have special standing for.
This program gives Federally-recognized tribes more resources to improve the economic influence of energy development in their areas. While this grant doesn’t provide directly to small businesses, look for the “trickle down” approach of funneling this government money into your business by securing the right contracts.
Available to small businesses, the RBEG program offers funds for rural development—including, by not limited to, infrastructural development, working capital for startup businesses, purchasing equipment, and real estate development. Smaller requests are actually given higher priority, and grants usually range between $10,000 and $50,000.
If you live or operate in a rural area lacking an Internet broadband speed of 3 Mbps or more, and are looking to fix that, then check to see whether you’re eligible for this Department of Agriculture grant. We’ve included this and the previous grants under the “Minorities” category because the government also often groups them together—it’s all about enfranchising the disadvantaged. Indian tribes are also a major target demographic for these programs.
Though not explicitly targeted towards small businesses, this grant initiative—like many others—includes Federally-recognized tribes among its eligible applicants. If you’re a business owner operating in recognized tribal lands, and you’d like to invest in water or waste disposal, this cash could help out.
Small Business Grants: Veterans
Veterans can also receive specific aid to help improve or fund the startup, XR or otherwise. There are quite a few organizations that offer special considerations to veterans of the US military so make sure to study up and apply to the ones that you are eligible for.
There are communities out there for all different kinds of business owners – find one you like and make sure you check your eligibility before applying.
- Small Business Administration The Veteran’s Entrepreneurship Act of 2015
- StreetShares Commander’s Call Veteran Business Award
- USDA Veteran and Minority Farmer Grant
- UPS Franchise Discount
Finding more resources
If you want to learn more about how to grow and scale your XR startup there are tons of free resources posted onto the Admix Academy Facebook Group. Best of all it’s completely free to sign up and start utilizing the free tools that they provide.