Launch is a community-based effort intended to aid Lakeland entrepreneurs in scaling business operations by providing micro-grants of up to $10k.

Through funding and expertise, local financial institutions determine grant recipients by assessing current financial standings and future business potential.



1. Meet requirements and review rules

2. Complete Launch application worksheet

3. Submit application

4. If selected, attend pitch workshop

5. Pitch to judges at Launch pitch night for funding



Application Deadline: Tuesday, October 26th  

Pitch Night: Thursday, November 12th


** Please note that due to COVID-19, the format of Pitch Night will look different than it has in the past.

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 (meaning that you provide something that is unique and not just another Starbucks or hair salon etc.).
  • The grant money must be used to scale business beyond solely increasing revenue (hiring employees, expanding space etc.).

If you have questions about whether you fit these requirements, email Christin Strawbridge at cstrawbridge@catapultlakeland.com

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.

2019 LAUNCH Pitch Night

2019 LAUNCH Pitch Night

Our 2019 LAUNCH Pitch Night saw four business owners receive micro-grant funding for their companies.

Reeve’s Lawncare

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

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