Questions & Answers
I know this grant is available for Historically Marginalized Leaders in Cleantech. But, I wanted to ask about the possibility of getting support from you [for a medical device] as a MD, scientist, and leader from a diverse group with limited funding which aims to bring solutions for clean labs. I appreciate your time in advance. (Question paraphrased to preserve anonymity.)
You are correct that this specific opportunity is limited to cleantech companies, as this grant is supported by the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2). However, we recognize that some products span multiple sectors, and that a medical device could potentially also have cleantech elements or applications. If this is the case, we suggest that you focus on articulating your company’s cleantech impact when addressing the “Please describe (and where possible, quantify) your product’s climate impact, in 250 words or less.“ section. If your company does not have any cleantech implication, please know that FORGE does offer opportunities for sectors beyond cleantech. The best way to stay up to date on these opportunities is by subscribing to the FORGE newsletter.
Why is the diversity category of disabled not included?
FORGE has prioritized moving the needle on our diversity and inclusion initiatives over the last several years. Our understanding is that it is a best practice to acknowledge the individuality and unique challenges of different diverse groups, and we have put this into practice via demographically focused opportunities, like our recent Female and Non-Binary Led opportunity, as well as this opportunity. However, you raise a good point regarding opportunities for disabled innovators, and our team would love to have a discussion and learn more about your perspective as we consider this future opportunity. If you’re willing to have a discussion, please reach out to anya@FORGEmass.org.
For the quote submission, would you prefer a quote from a single vendor or competing quotes from multiple vendors? Is there a scoring advantage/disadvantage to submitting multiple competing quotes?
We recommend submitting the quote that your company would be most likely to move forward with if awarded the funding. While it is a best practice in product development to source multiple quotes, for the purposes of evaluating applications for this grant, there is no preference or scoring advantage to submitting multiple competing quotes.
Can you kindly confirm in the solicitation that we will not be asked to share information that is legally privileged, upon request by FORGE? I would prefer not to place upon myself and my business any further [IP] disadvantage [by pursuing and submitting a quote]; could you kindly confirm a detailed budget is sufficient? (Question paraphrased for brevity.)
FORGE employees all undergo training on the importance of protecting intellectual property, as well as sign a code of conduct, and FORGE judges are held to the same standards. Your submission, as well as any information from within it, will not be shared externally without express written permission (and only then in service of celebrating your impact and raising your visibility – which does not need to entail any technical details that you wish to remain confidential.) However, we understand having concerns around protecting your product, so if you are unable to submit a quote due to concerns surrounding IP, please submit a budget with the level of detail you are comfortable with sharing.
What should I do if I have more questions after the question deadline?
Unfortunately, in order to preserve a fair process, the FORGE team is unable to answer any additional questions at this time.
What has made past applications successful?
Previous winning applications stood out for the following reasons:
Strong explanation of company value proposition
Clear alignment with any stated sector constraints (in this case, cleantech alignment and impact on environmental goals)
Product development challenge well articulated, and a legitimate barrier to development
Strong detail on how the proposed solution will enable them to accelerate their technical development timeline and/or their manufacturing readiness
You can find out more information and apply for the Product Development Grant for Historically Marginalized Leaders in Cleantech here.