Most innovators approach KTN with one fundamental request for help: 'how can I finance the development of my project?'
They have three options: internal finance from profits accumulated over time, external private investment, or funding through government loans and grants. Very often companies manage a mixed economy, using money from two or three of those sources.
It's much easier for large companies to raise funds for R&D by using internal resources, getting a loan from a bank, issuing bonds, or raising equity finance than it is for an SME. Smaller companies, in which innovation will consume a much larger proportion of the total available resource, usually don't have the assets to use as collateral and may not have a track record that demonstrates their capability. These companies are a priority for Innovate UK funding (and KTN assistance) if they have a strong proposal.
Whether you're contemplating pitching to an investor, crowdfunding or applying for grant-aid you need to develop a compelling value proposition: a succinct account that explains why customers will pay for your offer.
Components of Finance:
How much resource is needed to deliver the project: what will it cost to bring the offer to market? How much will it be per unit. Normally this is given in money but it can also be expressed as resource e.g. person months.
Where will the money to finance your innovation come from? Do you have sufficient internal funds or will you go to external sources: a bank or investor. Is grant aid or a loan from public sources a possibility? Could you use crowdfunding?
What money will you need, and when? You should develop a project plan which shows how you are going to keep your project moving forward by ensuring that the right resources - people, materials, equipment - are available at the point that they are required.
Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. They drive productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of innovation. Since 2007 they have in over £1.8 billion in grants, matched by a similar amount in partner and business funding.