OpenGrants Customer Stories & Insights

EV Life Customer Story

EV Life is an early stage technology company transforming the way consumers shop for and purchase electric vehicles. They approached us with a multitude of questions about a grant opportunity they had already identified. We were able to source an exceptional grant consultant who had years of experience with the grant funding program, as well as their market and vertical.

Over a period of two weeks, the grant expert engaged with EV life, the collaboration progressed, and a competitive application was prepared and submitted to the funding program. Ultimately, the application was successful and the team secured $250K in funding to advance their company.

EV Life CEO Kevin Favro: “We just received a CalSeed grant to build a platform for financing electric vehicles. Working with OpenGrants was definitely the way to go. Their expertise and support was invaluable to winning these funds, and our company is moving forward as a result.”

Our network of grant experts and grant consultants can be found on the Talent Marketplace in the OpenGrants platform.

Chicostart Customer Story

ChicoStart is a business incubator for startups and a community for entrepreneurs located in rural northern California. With a myriad of activities and companies to support, their main constraint is bandwidth and human capital. They struggled to get the right information about grant funding to the correct people in a timely fashion. They also know that grants are an important source of funding, but lack the time and ability to extend that knowledge and understanding to their portfolio of startups.

They engaged OpenGrants in an early BETA of the platform to explore the impacts of the tool on their community of startup founders and stakeholders. As a result of the pilot, seven companies submitted grant applications during that quarter, and a few were recently awarded several million dollars in funding for their projects. ChicoStart was also recently awarded NSF funding for their work in supporting this ecosystem.

Eva Nicole, Executive Director at ChicoStart and a Director of The Center for Entrepreneurship at CSU Chico: “We’re grateful that someone took a hard look at the unnecessary complexities of the grants market and decided to fix it. We value OpenGrants’ ability to provide us timely information on grants that we otherwise wouldn’t have time to look for. This helps us provide relevant info to our startups, partnerships and Chicostart itself. We’re excited to pursue a partnership that will benefit our ecosystem in the future.”

Learn more about how ecosystems can engage with OpenGrants and deliver grants resources here.

ChargeNet Customer Story

About

ChargeNet has built a software platform that integrates and optimizes EV Fast Chargers and solar and energy storage with point-of-sale systems at restaurants and retail locations. 

Tosh Dutt, Founder & CEO…

We’re an early-stage, pre-revenue startup focused on electric vehicle charging, specifically for fast food, restaurants, parking lots, and retail spaces. Our innovation is optimal control of EV chargers and the ability to use restaurant operation data to charge at lower cost while generating more revenue for owners.

You have to integrate solar and batteries to be able to support the energy demand and the stress it puts on the grid, so we’re creating a modular solution that’s hardware agnostic and gives our customers the option to have us deliver the infrastructure, or to procure the infrastructure themselves through their existing procurement relationships.

It gives us the opportunity to say “Hey, we’ll take all these things, integrate them, and get them to make more money for you than if you did it individually with software that was designed for one particular technology.”

Where the grants come into play for us is that we’re trying to validate our technology, and we’re trying to get certain aspects of our solution developed a lot quicker than originally planned because there’s immediate need for it. Getting grant funding puts us in a position to scale faster and get a featureful product on the market a lot sooner.

There’s a lot of focus from the California Energy Commission on EV charging infrastructure, and a lot of money that’s been earmarked for these types of technologies. Even with the amount of players that are in the market, my understanding is that there’s still a challenge in spending the money because there’s so much of it. At the same time, they don’t want to just spend it on anything. They have very specific areas that they want to spend on.

In the experiences that I’ve had, grants are a bit of a black box. Certain agencies have very clear judging criteria, and others have none at all. You have to be hyper-focused on what to deliver, how to deliver it, how to say it, how to frame it, and how to present it, and that’s not necessarily something we have experience with.

Just looking at the five-page abstract that we got assistance with through OpenGrants and Momentum, the way I would have written it would have been completely different than the way it ended up. The result of that is that we scored well compared to the rest of the folks applying. Now we have confidence in that resource to pursue the full application and have a fair chance of getting awarded the funding. It was a good experience.

Get started on OpenGrants for free and search our Talent Marketplace to connect with grant experts and consultants.