Question :
Best way to target market to niche industries, users , and what R/D funding  assistance is available to develop innovation . 

Question submitted 06/06/20 @ 06:40am
Industry: New Product Development / R&D
  • Hi there – thanks for posting – when I think about these types of questions, I often just go to google -think about (1) what is my starting hypothesis / assumption around the need or pain that exists in the market – write that up (2) go into the market of potential users and talk to them, about what they do now, what is working what is not (3) review the notes from “2” and adjust your hypothesis and then go back and test their interest – all of this is done before you even build anything. You don’t need money for that, it is just your time. There is not R&D funding either for this phase from what I know.

    Once you are clear that there is a need in the market, then try to find a way to build a prototype or MVP that these potential customers might buy from you – if you can do that, then you maybe able to get a ‘getting start’ grant from Callaghan Innovation and your Regional Business Partner to match your costs of development – but at the 5k or so level.

    All the best.

    Hi Aqua Genie, building on Andy’s comments, you can also just call one of your potential customers and ask them if they would prepared to share some thoughts with you. Most people are surprisingly generous with their time and knowledge. You could then design a list of key questions and information you would like and go through it with them – that could build some real insight into the decision making process and what influences them. Maybe offer a thank you like a lovely NZ box of chocolates at the end so everyone benefits 🙂

    Dear @acquagenie, regarding the R&D part of your question, Andy is right in saying that there is no Callaghan Innovation R&D funding for the ideation part of your start-up journey. There is a “Getting Started” grant you can access for “troubleshooting, basic prototyping, project planning, technical feasibility studies, development of an Intellectual Property strategy or determining product specifications and user requirements”. This grant works on the basis that you can claim back 40% of the cost of doing the above up to $5,000 (i.e. 40% of $12,500). Find out more here:https://www.callaghaninnovation.govt.nz/grants/getting-started-grants.

    It is important to understand that Callaghan Innovation does not fund ‘innovation’ but rather only funds technical R&D. The solving of technically challenging problems. If your proposed R&D is solving a very technically challenging problem, you may be eligible for an R&D Project Grant. This grant is also 40% co-funding up to $320,000 (40% of $800,000) then 20% for any costs above $800,000. There are very strict criteria around what constitutes R&D so before spending too much time preparing an application, speak first with Callaghan Innovation or your Regional Business Partner (e.g. Grow Wellington, ATEED, Venture Taranaki) and ask them if they think what you are planning is R&D.

    All the best @acquagenie
    Regards, Marshall

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