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LAUNCH

ABOUT LAUNCH

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.

STUDENT GRANTS

We love our local colleges and universities and are excited about learning more about student businesses in our area.

If you are a student interested in applying for up to $2,500, you can contact Christin using the button below.

Launch Pitch Night

THE ROAD TO 10K

1. Meet requirements and review rules

2. Submit application

3. If selected, attend pitch workshop

4. Pitch to judges at Launch pitch night for funding

 

SAVE THE DATE 

Application Deadline: Sunday, February 21, 2021

Pitch Night: Thursday, March 18, 2021

Show your support for  Lakeland’s startups by joining us in-person or online.

LAUNCH FAQ’S

HOW MUCH MONEY CAN I APPLY TO WIN?

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

DOES MY STARTUP QUALIFY FOR THIS GRANT MONEY?

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

WHAT CAN THE GRANT MONEY BE USED TO PURCHASE?

The purpose of this grant is to help Lakeland-based business owners purchase equipment that will directly lead to a growth in their business.

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 THIS MONEY NEED 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.
2020 Launch Pitch Night

2020 Launch Pitch Night

Five Lakeland entrepreneurs were awarded $37,500 in micro grant funding to grow their small business. Read this year’s Pitch Night recap here!

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…

Investors