Many young companies lack the experience to know what is necessary to go from an idea to a commercial product. In urban areas there are usually a number of resources to help guide them through uncharted seas but in rural areas many times these resources are lacking. Ag Ventures Alliance's (AgVA'S) Startup Assistance Program is designed to get them the resources necessary to become a viable business "as soon as possible".
In order for companies to be eligible for assistance under the Startup Assistance Program it must:
a. Have revenues of less than $500,000 over the previous 12 month period and must be less than five years old, based on the date of incorporation.
b. In addition, to be eligible companies must provide products or services that are directly connected with agriculture.
Eligible activities under the Startup Assistance Program include:
a. Business development consulting services. Such services may include but are not necessarily limited to the following: skill building, mentoring, market research, pro forma development, general business startup expenses and out-of-pocket expenses.
b. AgVA staff may provide services included in paragraph "a" above. Services may also be provided by outside consultants. Consultants may be members of Ag Ventures Alliance but may also be others not directly affiliated with AgVA.
1. The AgVA Startup Committee will make selections for the Startup Assistance Program. The committee will use the following criteria to make its decision:
a. Founder/Management experience
b. Will the product work and will it have a significant impact on the market?
c. The size of market for the product.
d. Potential benefit to U.S. agriculture.
e. Potential benefit to AgVA members.
f. Other business factors such as margins, barriers to entry and competitive landscape.
2. A company may apply for funds multiple times but the cumulative amount received by one company may generally not exceed $20,000.