Need Funding for Your Business? Start Here.



What is Launch?

Launch is a community-based effort led and funded by local financial institutions, that was created to help Lakeland’s entrepreneurs take their business concept to the next level. Launch provides micro-grants up to $10,000 to entrepreneurs who meet the requirements, fill out the application, and successfully pitch their concepts to Launch’s investment team.

It’s like Shark Tank but with happy people.

6 Pitch Nights

$123,521 Funded

13 Grants Awarded

Frequently Asked Questions


You must meet the following requirements in order to obtain grant money:

  • Applicants must be 18 years or older.
  • Business must be between 6 months and 5 years old.
  • You must have sales and proof of concept.
  • Business must be located in Lakeland, Florida.
  • Business must have had less than $1,000,000 in sales the previous year.
  • Business must be a formed legal entity.
  • Applicants must not be eligible for traditional bank lending.
  • It must be a “new to Lakeland” concept.
  • The grant money must be used to scale business beyond solely increasing revenue (hiring employees, expanding space etc.).


You can apply for any amount up to $10,000. Judges will decide on the amount awarded, if any.


Launch micro-grant money cannot be used for the following:

  • Personal Items
  • Legal Fees
  • Hiring Staff
  • Purchasing Property
  • Items that require unsecured additional funding to complete the project
  • Projects related to: Real Estate, Accounting, Insurance
  • Nonprofits
  • Religiously-affiliated businesses
  • Businesses that do not have a Lakeland zip code. Other Polk County zip codes do not qualify (i.e. – Mulberry, Bartow, Auburndale, etc.).
  • Marketing
  • Inventory


Does the money have to be paid back in full?

  • No, this is a grant, not a loan.
  • However, if you receive a grant, we ask that you invest 25% of Launch’s initial investment back into the fund within 24 months.
  • Launch recipients will be invoiced monthly for the 25% give back portion 3 months following the use of the grant money.
  • Grantees will be required to give regular reports of what they have done with the money as well as the outcome of the investment.

Born and Bread Bakehouse was a grant recipient in 2016 for the purchase of a double stack convection oven to increase production, capacity, and staff.




Meet Requirements (above) & Review Launch Rules



Complete Application



Pitch, if selected

2019 Dates 

Applications Open: Monday, December 10th, 2018

Applications Due: Tuesday, February 20th

Pitch Workshop: Monday, March 4th

Pitch Night: Thursday, March 14th

Pitch Night: Thursday, November 14th

Countdown to Pitch Night








Past Grant Recipients

Reeve’s Lawncare

Dave Reeves received a grant of $10,000 towards his startup company, Reeve’s Lawn Care, a full…

Boondock Studios

Boondock Studios makes handmade leather goods, woven fibers, hand-cut stone products, and other…

Cheeses & Crust

Cheeses & Crust received a grant of $10,000. This unique startup focuses on providing fresh-to-order grilled…

Steed Armor

Justyna Thomson of Steed Armor received a grant of $10,000. Steed Armor creates high-quality saddle..

Little Remi

Chase & Shannon Webber of Little Remi received a grant of $6,500. Little Remi sells all natural products…

The Balance Culture

The Balance Culture received a grant of $10,000 in order to purchase 21 spin bikes for their women’s fitness…

Rane Made

Raney Wade, owner of Rane Made, received a grant of $5,000 in order to purchase sewing machines that…

Journey Box Media

Kevin O’Brien received a $10,000 grant to purchase camera equipment that will will help elevate the quality…

New Sound Acoustics

Noel Rosa, founder of New Sound Acoustics, received a $10,000 grant to increase his inventory in order to…

A Cow Named MOO

Patrick & Sarah Mulcahy received a $10,000 grant to purchase commercial equipment that will…

Born & Bread Bakehouse

Jenn Smurr, Owner and Founder, received a $9,000 grant to purchase a new double stack oven. This will…