Dr. Michael Salgaller, Vice President of the Conafay Group, has recently lectured on the importance of non-dilutive funding for beginner companies. Many research-oriented government grants provide companies with the necessary catalyst for a number of operations from clinical trials to commercial activity. Non-dilutive funding from federal agencies is beneficial due its independence of the stock market’s trends. Additionally, no equity is shared so it is a cash reward to the company in exchange for a stated research objective. It is also critical to find such investors so the new company’s original shareholders can preserve more of their ownership. Additionally, these agencies provide internal consulting services to help solve business problems without use of the company’s capital resources. Often very useful guidance to regulatory issues is offered.

Amongst U.S. Federal enterprises, the Navy, the Air Force, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) search primarily for biologic manufacturing efficiency. For example, regenerative medicine, like 3D blood vessel printers, is rapidly rising on the market as health technology advances. Many of these agencies overlap in interests, like how the DOD funds the most amount of cancer research after the NCI, particularly for basic, clinical trials.

Dr. Salgaller brought much attention to the value of relationship building with program directors and managers. A company gains a competitive advantage when a representative of theirs meets in person with a grant official. This develops an appreciable relationship between institutions that also paves the path for future endeavors. When meeting with a potential source of capital, it is helpful to inquire about their level of interest. A perspective then develops to determine a company’s chance to receive funding.

Additionally, Dr. Salgaller shared his insight on how a company can increase its chances of successful government funding. Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) are official arrangements for a private and government agency to work together on a project. CRADAs can act as an incentive to speed up commercialization of federally produced technology as well as allowing one partner to have exclusive ownership on a specific patent. Federal agencies look for projects they foresee being successful and widely applicable. The agencies wish to pursue procurement of the services they fund; selling the company’s products to the government will increase the chances of such government funding. Ultimately, a company must work with an agency that will benefit both parties and will allow the company to thrive and flourish.

It is clear that connecting to federal funds is another useful approach to a company’s war chest of business plan advancement tools.