US Government Funding Options for Startups (February 2024)

Funding US Govt

Funding options for your early-stage startup and how to access them

The United States is by far the world’s most successful entrepreneurial market, and there’s a good reason for that. The entrepreneurial funding value chain is very established and operates like clockwork.

US government offers a variety of funding options for startups, categorized into grants, loans, competitions, and other programs. Here’s a current list to help you navigate the options:


  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program: This program awards grants to small businesses for R&D projects that have the potential for commercialization. It’s managed by multiple agencies, each with specific focus areas. (Learn more:
  • Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program: Similar to SBIR, but requires collaboration between a small business and a nonprofit research institution. (Learn more:
  • Department of Energy (DOE) SBIR/STTR programs: Focuses on clean energy technologies. (Learn more:
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) SBIR/STTR programs: Supports a wide range of science and engineering research. (Learn more:
  • Other grant programs: Many other federal agencies offer grants for specific industries or research areas. Explore grant opportunities on (



  • National Startup MyNavy: Competition for startups focused on naval-related technologies. (Learn more:

  • Startup America Regional Competitions: Series of regional events awarding prizes and mentorship to startups. (Learn more:


  • NASA iTech Startup Challenge: Competition for startups developing space-related technologies. (Learn more:


  • Dozens of other competitions: Many organizations and agencies host startup competitions with various themes and prizes. Research opportunities relevant to your industry or location.

Other Programs:

  • America’s Seed Fund Public-Private Investment: Provides matching funds for early-stage startups attracting private investment. (Learn more:

  • Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs): Offer free counseling and training to small businesses and startups. (Find your local SBDC:


  • SCORE: Provides free mentoring and resources to small businesses and startups. (Find a SCORE mentor:



  • Eligibility requirements and application processes vary for each program.
  • Research thoroughly and start early, as applications can be competitive.
  • Consider your startup’s stage, industry, and specific needs when choosing a funding option.
  • Seek professional guidance if needed, especially for complex applications or loan terms.

Get Help with Your Applications — Financial Modelling Simplified

One item Lenders, the SBA and other capital providers require from small businesses is a financial model (financial projections or financial forecast) for the business. Most founders without a finance background find this challenging and expensive.

Caena is the quickest and most affordable way to generate simple charts, graphs and reports for pitch decks, business plans and funding applications. Read our customer testimonial about a similar process (SEIS / EIS) in the UK here. The tool is also useful for accelerator applications and investor conversations.

For financial projections that get you funded, we have got you covered!

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