039 NC IDEA: Grant Application Best Practices & Mistakes to Avoid with John Austin

By Supportedly

Podcast Show Notes

John joins me today to share how the NC IDEA grant process is structured and to describe the grant application best practices. He highlights how entrepreneurs can tackle stage one and stage two forms and explains what entrepreneurs should (and shouldn’t) do in each stage. Here also shares best practices for delivering a pitch and producing a pitch slide deck as well as describes the qualities that he believes entrepreneurs and startups should have.



“The first thing to do is read the instructions, understand what that organization wants to fund, and make sure that you’re in that ballpark.” – John Austin



This week on the Supportedly Podcast:


  • How the ECOSYSTEM grant program funds organizations that help startups.
  • The criteria for startups to apply for SEED and MICRO grants.
  • How to write a first stage grant application.
  • How your application is reviewed and what reviewers are looking for.
  • Responding to feedback from stage one and preparing your stage two application.
  • Preparing your pitch and creating an effective slide deck.
  • The three essential qualities startups and entrepreneurs need.
  • The things you need to do and not do during the questions segment of your pitch.


Free & Low-Cost Programs at NC IDEA:



Connect with John Austin:


  • Email: info@ncidea.org
  • Phone: (919) 941-5600


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Podcast Guests

John Austin

John Austin is the Senior Director of NC IDEA, an organization that helps entrepreneurs and startups reach their full potential through a variety of programs and grants such as NC IDEA SEEDNC IDEA MICRO, and NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM. In 2011, John founded Groundwork Labs, which later became NC IDEA LABS, where he has personally been a mentor to over 200 entrepreneurs. He has held top positions in companies such as Joystick Labs, Numerical Design Ltd., and Division Inc. John has a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from Valparaiso University and a Master’s in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Podcast Host

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Steph Kissel

I utilize my background and expertise in project leadership to find creative operational solutions every day. I’m passionate about great ideas and inspired by the entrepreneurs who bring them to life (ever seen someone cry happy tears over your prototype?). I'm fortunate to work with people who share my passions and inspire me every day. Together, we're working non-stop to create cool things that empower entrepreneurs and business owners, like Supportedly.com, the place to find entrepreneurial support programs, events, and actionable content like The Supportedly Podcast. To all the providers and entrepreneurs they support, thanks for letting me tell your stories, and if you’re reading this, I hope we’ve helped make your entrepreneurial journey just a little be easier and maybe even more exciting!

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