The GEM Startup Assistance Grants provide flexible funding to new or emerging ventures looking to secure a foothold in the Goleta area.

Eligible applicants include seed-stage startups incorporated in the past 5 years and individuals/teams looking to incorporate within the timeframe of the grant. Included in this group are UCSB spin off companies, startups or teams based in Goleta, or startups or teams looking to relocate to the Goleta area.

Awards of up to $5,000 over a period of 6 months can be applied towards a variety of uses including, but not limited to, rental expense offsets at the UCSB-based incubators, development of a Minimum Viable Product, legal assistance for incorporation, and fee offsets for use of UCSB recharge facilities. Exceptions are considered. GEM will not take any equity in the new venture, but applicants concede to be included from time to time in GEM-related publicity such as newsletters, panels, and social media postings.

Three-Page (max) pdf pre-proposals should be submitted online (below) and include the following information:

  • Amount and duration requested
  • Company profile
    • Business thesis
    • Team
    • Company stage of life (including how much funding the company has raised to date and the nature of the funding source)
  • How the funding will be used (budget and justification)
  • What will be catalyzed/enabled by the funding
  • The degree to which the company will be involved with UCSB and/or Goleta

Pre-proposals will be evaluated on a quarterly basis and on the following criteria:

  • Impact – will the funds make a real difference for the applicant?
  • Proposal merit
    • Is proposed work doable within the timeframe?
    • Does proposed budget match actual costs?
  • Team/company track record for success
  • Integration into GEM Innovation & Entrepreneurship Ecosystem
    • Will the team/company use services from the city and UCSB during the grant period?
    • How will the team/company connect to UCSB and Goleta after the grant period?

Final applications will involve a 15-minute in-person “pitch” to the grant selection committee comprised of GEM board members and 1-2 external advisors.

Go to Form
City of Goleta
University of California, Santa Barbara