Accelerators, Startup Studios

Devland Wins $180,000 Grant to Support Entrepreneurs

Learn how Miles Dotson and his team are generating inbound by putting back into local communities.

Learn how Miles Dotson and his team are generating inbound by putting back into local communities.

by: Miles Dotson|

March 15, 2023

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Articles | Startup Studios | Devland Wins $180,000 Grant to Support Entrepreneurs

Devland Innovation is implementing a new program focused on helping 12 micro businesses in Washington state with their core financial capabilities and amplification using digital marketing. The program, named “GROW” will target micro enterprises looking to advance their businesses through lean and efficient operations. Participants will gain support generating key finance and business plan documents along with digital marketing and content creation support from Devland’s content builder team. We sat down with Miles Dotson, Partner at Devland Innovation to learn more about the story.

We’ve been approached by corporates looking for help with building startups for quite some time now, they’re typically looking for help with building startups using the tools and resources they have at their disposal. Up until recently, we’ve not really played an active role in this space as it felt like a tangent to our core mission. That said, we’ve seen that the same programming and content we use for startups can be effectively used for micro-enterprises and small businesses, as well as contracts with governmental parties, and foundations too. We discussed this internally and decided that we may as well see what it’s like to work in this space, we already have the content, so why not use it?

We gained visibility to an opportunity with the city of Tacoma, Washington, and their Small Business Innovation Fund, we applied, and then won the largest award for $180,000.

I was surprised when we won because we apply for a lot of stuff and miss out, but we won this one because we already have pre-existing elements within the studio that do these things, things that others couldn’t compete with. We differentiated in our experience, having worked with a larger chasm of entrepreneurial types, including being inclusive of small businesses, but with a focus towards venture scale companies. 

In terms of what we’re actually having to do, it’s mainly two parallels of workshops. One is going to be focused on amplifying the voice of founders through content marketing, and also we’ll provide an in-person presence to help with activating their micro business. The other side is about financing, how are the micro businesses managing their budgeting, planning, cash management, and documentation for tax preparedness. We’re going to have workshops, a lot of labs, and office hours where we’re actively helping them get across the line.

There’s no equity involved, we’re getting paid by the city of Tacoma to run the program. The funny thing that’s happening since the press went out about the program is that the venture ecosystem in Seattle has activated in reaching out to us and trying to understand what we’re up to. It’s actually giving us more appeal on the venture side, doing this small business enterprise effort.

We’ll be hosting a community call with Miles on this subject in early May 2023 once the project has been completed.

Devland is an investment company that focuses on new innovative ventures with brilliant technologists and wildly underestimated entrepreneurs. The studio provides an alternative investment source for committed entrepreneurs with guidance and direct funding through to Series A.

Their thesis is broad but their core team are specialized in new industrial technology, materials, and automation. Devland Innovation was founded by Miles Dotson and Devon Fanfair, both engineers with academic research backgrounds, technology industry management pedigree and investment experience from Private Equity, M&A, to Early-Stage Startups as Angels. The studio has developed over 45 entrepreneurs, 16 companies launched, and $8.5 million in capital deployed.




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