Not Impressed with EEDA
EEDA, the East of England Development Agency, recently turned down my application for an Innovation Voucher to help me obtain academic help with my business. I was very disappointed but not surprised as EEDA has a strange, counter-intuitive policy of not supporting start-ups that have started!
If you have an idea then you can apply for a market research grant or grants to get you started, but EEDA does not provide support, yes does NOT provide support, to start-ups that have managed to start! Tell me, how ridiculous is that then?
This was rammed home when I attended one of EEDA’s much promoted Access to Finance workshops. It discussed grant, debt and equity finance sources. I was particularly interested in no-strings attached free money, i.e., grants. I left the workshop thinking what a waste of time since grants did not support current activities only future ones. That is, get an idea, wait until someone else has done it and then apply to EEDA for them to reject it!
Thinking about it, their support model seems more apt for the funding needs of universities and academics that prepare proposals to fund projects, or new or ongoing research and only kick off once funding has been secured.
If that’s how EEDA plans to support entrepreneurship regionally then, perhaps, it is best that they focus on the bright ideas spun out of Cambridge.