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What is the Difference Between Dilutive and Non-Dilutive Fundraising?

Are you a start-up company searching for funding? Technical founders should be educated as to their funding options and understand what opportunities are out there that would be the right fit for them. There are two main funding categories for technical start-ups: non-dilutive and dilutive funds.

Non-Dilutive Funds (STTR / SBIR Grants)

Non-dilutive funding, such as grants and awards, does not require start-ups to give up any equity. This is a huge advantage! Typically, this type of funding opportunity is ideal for early-stage start-ups looking to get their idea off the ground or develop their first prototype. Two very common non-dilutive funding mechanisms technical startups typically go for are Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs which are sponsored by the US federal government. These grants offer financial support to translate highly innovative research ideas into commercialized products. Since securing SBIR/STTR funding is quite competitive, start early and give yourself sufficient bandwidth to develop a competitive application. Consult an advisor or a grant consultant to help you navigate the entire process from strategy to drafting and eventually submission.

Dilutive Funds

Unlike non-dilutive funding, dilutive funding requires founders to give up a portion of their company, or equity, to investors in exchange for money. Some examples of dilutive funding mechanisms include raising a traditional seed or Series A round from Angel Investors or Venture Capitalists. Although fundraising through this method is competitive and time-consuming, the wait time to secure the funds for a skilled fundraiser is much less than the non-dilutive SBIR/STTR route - it can take months to learn whether you got funded.

Finding the right fundraising method would be critical for your business goals and start-up success. Secure these funds would allow you to execute your business plans, as well as progress in your start-up and innovation to a whole new level. In the book Train Like a Scientist, Think Like an Entrepreneur (available on Amazon today), you can learn more about these different funding options and much more to support your entrepreneurial journey. Get your copy today!

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