Since launching my company last year, the response from the press and autism community has been very positive. It’s become clear to me that we’re solving an important problem for our students and the market is increasingly ready and looking for a solution like what we’re offering through Autsim Expressed.
So Autism Expressed is ready for the next step.
We have applied for a research grant, which provides funding for innovative businesses over the course of two years. If we can win this grant, it will mean we can hire, scale, service more students and schools, and identify important metrics that will prove and improve the efficacy of our product.
Part of the proposal requires letters endorsing the significance of the proposed product or for potential pathways for its commercial dissemination and sustainability. These were not hard for us to acquire. We have letters from current clients who have always been enthusiastic about our product and have an endorsement from a potential distribution partner. A letter of endorsement is not a commitment of any kind, but helps us tremendously in showing a market need.
I remember when I initially contacted the contract officer to ask some questions about applying for a government grant, I included the idea of hiring a grant writer. I was surprised at how opposed to this idea they were. “No one knows your business and product better than you. You need to write it.”
And so I have. I started at 40 pages and painstakingly editing them down to 25 (plus appendix, endorsements, signatures, resumes, etc.), and now I have my research grant proposal. We refined it a bit and pulled all the elements together. I had to do this all while working my full time job as a teacher. But this week, I turned the application in.