The application deadline has passed.

Small Start-up Grant Criteria and Application


  • Geography

Feed the Seed Small Start-up Grants (SSG) are for companies and founders who reside and operate a business within Kane, DuPage, Kendall or Will counties.  Selected companies must agree to maintain their residence and operations within the above noted counties for 2 years after receiving grant funding.

  • Industry

Feed the Seed Small SSGs are designed to help needy entrepreneurs to bring an innovative product or business to market. We will not consider pharmaceutical (or medicinal) companies, consulting, restaurants, retail or not-for-profits.

  • Market Opportunity

The ideal recipient for Feed the Seed SSGs include companies that will create an innovative product or business with market potential to grow in excess of $400,000 in annual revenue and employ 2 people (including owner/founder) within 3 years.

  • Stage of Development

Feed the Seed Small SSGs are ideal for companies who are

  1. Researching an idea
  2. Developing a prototype
  3. Testing a product

The expected outcome is a well-defined market and path for commercialization.

  • Team

Applicants are expected to have a minimum of one full-time team member within six months after applying for the grant.  Work experience in or on a previous startup, as well as domain expertise, is favorable as well – but not required.  Founder must be a US citizen or legal resident.

  • Revenue

Ideal recipients will be pre-revenue or less than $40K in the previous 12 months.

  • Prior Investment

Feed the Seed Small SSGs are intended to help early-stage companies position themselves for growth and other funding sources.  As such, ideal candidates will not have already raised early-stage equity funding.  This does not include friends and family funding.



The application link will take you to a Google Form to complete.  Here is a list of the questions for you to review before filling out the form.

Small Start-up Grant Criteria and Sample Application

Explore the possibilities

Start today with your project