Everything You Need to Know About Funding Your Mobile App Idea with a Government Grant in Australia

Everything You Need to Know About Funding Your Mobile App Idea with a Government Grant in Australia

In modern business, a mobile app should be a fundamental element of every growth strategy and service delivery. With grants available across state and federal governments in Australia, there are a number of ways for your business to recoup part or all of your development costs for your next mobile application. We’ve put together a guide as to how you can secure finance for your mobile app idea through a government grant, whether you’re in New South Wales or wider Australia.

Crowd Sourced Equity Funding (Australia wide)

Although not necessarily a government grant, the Australian government is currently making legislative changes to make the process of raising finance from the general public (Crowd Sourced Equity Funding) easier and faster for small to medium business startups. CSEF allows mobile app entrepreneurs to raise up to $5 million per year from a large number of individuals in return for equity in their company, making this approach ideal for mobile app development.

  • Individual investors are able to invest $10,000 per year per company
  • Available to Australian public companies with assets and turnover less than $25 million
  • New legislation making CSEF easier for businesses to access will be implemented on the 29th September 2017.

Find out more about Crowd Sourced Equity Funding here.

Research and Development Tax Incentive (Australia wide)

The Research and Development Tax Incentive basically reduces a company’s cost for completing eligible research and business development activities by providing a proportionate tax offset for the project. Depending on a company’s annual turnover, offsets of 43.5% or 38.5% are available.

  • The R and D program is self-assessing, meaning you company needs to decide whether the research and development projects you’re undertaking will be eligible for the offset
  • Under certain circumstances, you can also apply for activities undertaken overseas
  • See some examples of how the R and D tax offset works for businesses here

Find out more about the Research and Development Tax Incentive here, and learn how you can conduct a self-assessment to see if your mobile app development project would be eligible for the program.

Biomedical Translation Fund (Australia Wide)

For businesses in the Biomedical field, the Biomedical Translation Fund could help fund your next innovation. The BTF is an equity co-investment venture capital program that:

  • Supports the commercialisation of biomedical breakthroughs in Australia
  • Helps translate discoveries into high growth commercial projects.

While it’s a highly specific fund, the second point in particular does bode well for apps in the commercial biomedical field. Find out more here.

Accelerating Commercialisation Program (Australia Wide)

Delivered by AusIndustry and open to businesses across Australia, the Accelerating Commercialisation Program aims to help accelerate growth of novel processes, products and services.

The grant matches funding of up to $1 million to cover commercialisation costs and also provides:

  • Commercialisation Guidance
  • Portfolio Services

Mobile apps can power expansive growth, and with dollar matching, this grant provides an enticing platform. Compliant organisations must meet several criteria for eligibility and merit, so check their webpage for a full rundown of the awards, conditions and deadlines.

Incubation Support Grant (Australia Wide)

For new and existing incubator programs, the Australian Government will match funding up to $500,000 to assist with start ups achieving success in the international market. With mobile apps integral to reaching audiences beyond our shores, this grant is an exciting opportunity for the right candidates.

There are two key components where incubators can seek funding, both of which work under a price matching scheme.

  • Support new and existing incubators by providing support for expansion into new areas
  • Provide access to top quality talent, research and international advice.

More information on this exciting grant scheme can be found here.

Export Market Development Grants (Australia wide)

The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) is a financial assistance program that provides funding for aspiring and current business exporters. Developed to encourage businesses to grow export markets, the fund reimburses up to 50% of eligible export promotion services above $5000, provided that the total expenses are at least $15,000. If your mobile app project develops and encourages business expansion in international exporting markets, it could be eligible.

More information on Export Grants can be found here.

Business Growth Grant (Australia Wide)

Provides up to $20,000 to an organisation for the cost of hiring an expert to help with implementation of advice and strategies related to:

  • Business evaluation
  • Supply chain facilitation
  • Growth service
  • Tourism partnership service

The grant is only open to businesses that have an Entrepreneurs’ Programme Business Evaluation Report or Action Plan, Supplier Chain Facilitation, Growth Plan, or Tourism Partnership Plan. These can be obtained through the Entrepreneurs Program, information on which can be found here. Business Growth grants information is located here.

Building Partnerships Grant (NSW)

The Building Partnerships Grant provides grants to business startups that are already generating revenue to accelerate the market adoption process. Developing a mobile app is a key strategy for penetrating a variety of different industry target markets, and the BPG is available in amounts up to $100,000 to cover 35% of a project’s entire cost.

The BPG provides businesses support so they can:

  • Complete pilot projects with key customers
  • Fund new marketing partnerships to develop innovative, new-to-market solutions.

If you’re a startup wanting to grow your market base, find out more about the Building Partnerships Grant here.

Tips for making the most of your grant applications

  1. The number one tip for any business applying for grants is not to change the overall business and strategic direction to suit a particular grant. Your business health is greater than any one grant, and there’s no telling whether you’d actually get the grant in question anyway.
  2. Instead, plan your business strategy and then look for grants that might help move your business forward.
  3. Similarly, don’t design your app to meet a grant. Look for grants that can help build your app.
  4. Grant applications can take several hours to complete. Evaluate each grant and be sure you’re a good fit for the particulars of that grant.
  5. Think laterally about funding. You might be able to apply for business grants that fund other aspects of your business, freeing up funds to develop your mobile app.
  6. Find more grants specific to your business and mobile app ideas here.
  7. When applying for your grant, follow these guidelines to make the most of your opportunities.

Utilising innovative mobile app grants in Australia

For many organisations across Australia, a grant is an opportunity to take your business to the next level. Funding a mobile app can increase your business exposure, scale your sales platform and open up new revenue streams through innovative products and services. If you’ve got an app idea, now is the time to apply for funding.

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