Continuing our series of case studies, we have asked another of our previous clients to answer a few questions about the grant application process, working with Tenshi Grants and to pass on some advice and insight to others who may be looking to apply for grants. This post features Tom Beardsmore from Coatsink, a passionate and talented games development team working on games for PC, VR, console and mobile.
Q1. What challenges or needs did you face that led you to search for a solution?
We have income from clients and publishers who fund us to develop games, however we also develop our own games for which we need funding. We can fund some of our games from the profits from our work for hire business, but that money is always tight and we are always looking for extra funding. At around the same time, we realized that along with our games we were making technology that could be useful to other developers as well as ourselves, which could be a secondary revenue stream for us if we could find the funding to develop the technology as well as our games.
Q2. What attracted you to working with the Tenshi Grants team to assist in your application writing process?
We heard about Tenshi Grants when we met one of their team at an event, and found out about technology innovation grants, which seemed to fit with our desire to develop technology.
We decided to work with them because not only did they have a good track record of writing and winning applications, but they actually understood our industry and market. The team were from the games industry and run their own businesses as well as doing Tenshi Grants, and when we had our first call to discuss the project, it became clear that this knowledge would made them easy to work with, and able to show our project in the best light in the application.
Q3. What has been the most valuable part of the Tenshi Grants service for you?
The fact that they really make the application process easy and clear. They were in regular contact, but didn’t take up anywhere near as much of our time as I thought they might for a process like applying for a grant. They also were very good at explaining what was needed, and really helped us to refine the project and our offering as we went along.
Q4. What sort of companies would you recommend Tenshi Grants to after working with us and seeing first-hand how we can help?
Any company who is developing technology around games or similar industries and needs funding. I would recommend that those companies just contact them and have a chat, as you may be eligible for funding and not be aware of it. In particular if you haven’t had much experience of raising funding or public grants then getting Tenshi Grants to help would be strongly advised – I don’t think we would have had anywhere near as much chance of getting our grant if they hadn’t helped us.
Q5. Throughout the process of searching for relevant grants through to the application process, what did you learn that you feel would be useful for others applying?
That grant applications are all about saying the right things in the right place. Knowing how to do that comes from experience as well as skill, so getting someone on board who can do that massively increases your chances of success.
Grant applications also tend to be very long winded and time consuming, which isn’t something we wanted to spend our time on, we felt it was better to give it to someone else to do.
Q6. What advice would you give to others thinking of applying for grants?
If you are eligible for it, go for it! It is free money and can help you to raise more funding by building your credibility. But make sure that your project does fit the grant you are applying for, make sure you are clear about what you are aiming to achieve with the project, and make sure you have the time to deal with (or get help with) the application process and the admin once you have received your grant.
Q7. What have you been able to achieve after your successful grants application?
We are just completing our first grant funded project, which we will release as our first technology product in 2017, providing our second revenue stream and enabling us to fund the development of more of our own games.
Q8. What advice would you give to individuals/companies who are unsure if the right type of funding exists for them?
Speak to the guys at Tenshi Grants, they are really helpful and will quickly tell you what might work for you.