Unlocking Opportunities: Grant Programs for Indiana Startups and Small Businesses

As we step into the promising year of 2024, Indiana’s entrepreneurial landscape is buzzing with opportunities for both startup founders and small business owners. If you’re on the lookout for avenues to catalyze growth and innovation, here’s your insider’s guide to three distinctive grant programs tailor-made for your aspirations. Recognizing the need for expertise and guidance can be crucial for the entrepreneur who may not have the time to tackle something new – read up on these grants below and then reach out to our experienced team of professionals to help you navigate these opportunities.

1. Indiana Technical Assistance Program (ITAP): Nurturing Growth through Expertise

Empowering Small Businesses: Indiana Technical Assistance Program (ITAP) stands out as an annual initiative dedicated to supporting small businesses in executing growth and improvement projects. The program offers a unique opportunity to access up to $15,000 in services from qualified professionals and technical vendors.

Eligibility Criteria: To qualify for ITAP, your project should:

  • Be completed between July 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023.
  • Positively impact your small business.
  • Exclude purchases of assets, business maintenance and digital marketing.

Application Timeline (2023):

  • January 16: Application opens
  • February 19: Application deadline
  • Mid-April: Applicants notified
  • May – June: Contracts executed with Ivy Tech
  • July – December: Project work completed

Unlocking Potential: ITAP has been instrumental in supporting a range of projects, from product prototyping to intellectual property legal assistance.

2. Innovation Voucher: Fostering Creativity and Development

The Innovation Voucher is your ticket to a matching grant of up to $50,000, facilitating diverse projects such as product development, simulations and studies. The unique aspect of this grant lies in its collaboration with higher education institutions or not-for-profit organizations.

Grant Dynamics:

  • No limitation on one-time funding, but a preference for once per project.
  • A timeframe of six months to a year to utilize voucher funds.
  • The reimbursement process involves monthly reports and invoices.
  • Grant evaluations occur three times a year. 2024 deadlines are: January 19, May 17 and September 20.

The Innovation Voucher encourages collaborations with a network of professionals, making it a valuable resource for those seeking research or development partnerships.

3. Conexus Indiana: Manufacturing Readiness Grant

For manufacturers eyeing capital investments in smart manufacturing technologies, the Conexus Indiana: Manufacturing Readiness Grant is a game-changer. This grant targets both small- and medium-sized manufacturers, offering support for projects that directly impact manufacturing processes.

Strategic Focus Areas:

  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
  • Additive manufacturing (3-D printing)
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Machine learning
  • Advanced communications (5G, etc.)

Flexible Funding Structure:

  • No fixed application deadline; processed in monthly cycles.
  • Grants can be any size up to a maximum of $200,000, matched on a 1:1 basis.
  • Encourages projects that wouldn’t happen without the grant.
  • The reimbursement structure ensures funds are matched by the applicant.

Indiana offers a gateway to funding, collaborations and a thriving network, but the journey ahead might require external advisors who understand the nuances of these programs. Sikich is here to assist you in unlocking the full potential of these grants, ensuring that your projects are not just funded but also guided to success.

As you embark on your entrepreneurial journey in this new year, consider leveraging these grant programs, connecting with resources that can redefine your path to success. Whether you’re a tech innovator, a creative thinker or a manufacturer pushing the boundaries, Indiana has created these opportunities to propel your business forward. To learn more and speak with our experts, please contact us below.

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication may contain certain content generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) language model. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.

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