222: How to Secure Grants to Scale Up Your Hardware Startup

222: Securing Grants for Scaling Up a Hardware Startup

April 18, 2024

With Micki Vandeloo, President of Lakeview Consulting

Hosted by Kevin Mako, President of MAKO Design + Invent

222 Securing Grants for Scaling Up a Hardware Startup
222: Securing Grants for Scaling Up a Hardware Startup

In addition to amassing 25 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, Micki Vandeloo has dedicated nearly 15 years to assisting manufacturers with securing government grants to propel the growth of their product ventures. Impressively, as the President of Lakeview Consulting, she has collectively secured over $250 million for clients. Today, Micki will offer invaluable guidance for inventors, startups, and small manufacturers by systematically breaking down the requisite steps and nuances of applying for and successfully securing government grants in the USA. She will delineate the various levels as well as categories of grants available for hardware startups and impart essential advice on preparing for and composing the application to maximize your chances of success.

Here are the key takeaways from the episode:

  • What are government grants? 
  • Grants afford funding to help startups and manufacturers achieve the specific result that the grant giver wants to see.
  • You have to plan very far ahead before applying for a government grant.
  • What is the difference between state grants and federal grants for hardware startups?
  • State Grants are typically smaller – from $5k to $250k – while federal grants can be in the millions plus.
  • Scaling stage funding is when you are able to prove that you can scale. Most government grants require clear market proof to receive the funding, which means you should have a product and customers already.
  • There are a wide variety of different grant purposes.
  • Project design is key to successfully applying for a government grant.
  • There are 3 core elements to a grant: What are the activities you have to do to make the product business grow? What do you need in order to make the scaling project work? How much money is your product going to cost?
  • Identify the grant you think you can get, develop a comprehensive and compelling project plan within your application, and then ensure you keep up with the grant requirements after you receive funding.
  • There are a variety of grant requirements you must meet after you get the funding, so you have to be conservative with your estimates to ensure the funders don’t claw back their money.

Micki Vandeloo Links:

LinkedIn | Lakeview Consulting

The Product Startup Podcast Links:


Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Pinterest | Twitter | YouTube

MAKO Design + Invent Links:


YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

Kevin Mako Links:

Instagram | LinkedIn | Quora | Facebook | Twitter

Producer: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to the above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories.