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
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
- 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.).
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.
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
Dave Reeves received a grant of $10,000 towards his startup company, Reeve’s Lawn Care, a full…
Boondock Studios makes handmade leather goods, woven fibers, hand-cut stone products, and other…
Cheeses & Crust received a grant of $10,000. This unique startup focuses on providing fresh-to-order grilled…
Ryan Moore of Gator Creek Technologies received a grant of $10,000. Gator Creek Technologies…
Justyna Thomson of Steed Armor received a grant of $10,000. Steed Armor creates high-quality saddle..
Chase & Shannon Webber of Little Remi received a grant of $6,500. Little Remi sells all natural products…
The Balance Culture received a grant of $10,000 in order to purchase 21 spin bikes for their women’s fitness…
Raney Wade, owner of Rane Made, received a grant of $5,000 in order to purchase sewing machines that…
Kevin O’Brien received a $10,000 grant to purchase camera equipment that will will help elevate the quality…
Michael Dodge, owner of Lakeland’s Beer Revolution, received a $10,000 grant to procure a 1-barrell brewing…
Noel Rosa, founder of New Sound Acoustics, received a $10,000 grant to increase his inventory in order to…
Patrick & Sarah Mulcahy received a $10,000 grant to purchase commercial equipment that will…
Jenn Smurr, Owner and Founder, received a $9,000 grant to purchase a new double stack oven. This will…