Example Application 1

Idea:

We are developing a line of super-widgets for various applications. These handheld instruments merge the capabilities of a B-type widget and a C-type widget and are designed for a specific test or class of tests. One version would be capable of characterizing the concentration and purity of snow while another may be designed for assays on hail or dirt. Snow clarity and density can also be monitored. This instrument reduces the time requirements for using, reduces space requirements in comparison with other snow analyzers and is cost effective. They can also be made lighter for portable use into the rock fields. A wireless component will allow data storage and presentation on external devices such as a smart watch, google glass, server, or tablet/PC.

Passion:

Dr. John Doe and I have been working on this device with several students over several years. We have a working prototype and demonstrated effectiveness for dirt as well as density analysis, and snow composition using disposable snow melters. We have committed limited funds for this development, but are now prepared to demonstrate this technology to a broader audience in hopes to raise funds for further development.

Plan:

We have put together a grant proposal. During Phase I we plan to optimize the mechanisms for detection of snow in a dirt-snow mixture by testing:

arrangement and types of melters and detectors
optimal snow melters for specific assays dependent on typical user needs
disposable snow melter design, materials, and attachment to our instrument
This is a one year $5,000 project. The 2 year Phase II budget ($40,000) will enable us to hire an outside contractor(s) to develop the snow handling, electronics, and communication of our instrument. Based on our current development and product similarity to current widgets, we do not anticipate requiring the full two years of development for our first instrument to be commercially available. We expect to have our instrument available by summer 2016.

Example Application 2

The purpose of Clown Education (CE) is to improve the quality of clowns’ lives throughout Placeville through hands-on activities while stimulating all five clown skills in order to increase an understanding, passion and desire for general studies and comedic arts. CE is a program geared towards clowns who have passed the first stage of the clown exam but not the second stage. Unfortunately I only have been able to provide my program to five clowns but with the BALSA Foundations contribution I will be able to service more clowns in the community.

CE provides hands on activities that will also stimulate all five clown skills in the following areas:

Clown History – the integrated study of the history of great clowns in order to promote a community within clowns, as defined by the National Clown Council.
Colorful pants design – The ability to design striking pants. An individual’s ability to understand clown pants design is influenced by their traits and skills, one of which is the ability to make inferences.
Flowers – cultivation of flowers and other plants for comedic routines and as gifts to spectators.
Unicycles – refers to the ability to ride a unicycle in a clown routine. This is a vital skill for a clown’s routine and is often neglected in more formal education.
Rope climbing – Rope climbing is an essential skill used by clowns in acts. Grip and strength are both important components to rope climbing skills.
All clowns do not learn the same way, so Clown Education has come up with a way that delivers information different from the traditional classroom setting. We use unique learning methods such as juggling, funny hat routines, and other activities so information can be easily retained and recalled during classroom and test taking time.

Examples of some of the activities:

Juggling routines – clowns will attempt to juggle with other clown partners.
Clown obstacle course – clowns will learn to create a comedic routine around an obstacle course in parternship with other clowns.
A recent study conducted by PPZ, a nonprofit organization, stated that
“About 60% of clowns do not get the training they need in order to be successful in the field.”
This leads to numerous problems, including failed careers, broken props, discouraged audiences, and disagreements among clown colleagues. Other studies have shown that most of these clowns needing assistance are concentrated in the northern hills, where up to 80% of clowns between the first and second clown exam lack preparedness.

I am Jane Doe, a former unicycle instructor teamed with Paula Smith with a Masters in Marketing and Business Management and Jackie Jones who has been a secretary and book keeper for a comedy club and together we plan operate a clown training center called Clown Education. Paula and Jackie both joined CE last week after seeing much improvement in the activity and confidence of their clown friends.

With the BALSA Foundation’s help CE can get a license, insurance, and 501(c)3 needed to become one of those not-for-profits that other local clown organizations partner up with. I have spoken with an organization that will do all the paperwork and can get everything approved within a fifteen month time period for eight thousand dollars. That includes state and federal application and management for two years. Hopefully together we can reach more than five clowns and help all clowns get an education.

Example Application 3

Idea:

Placeville grown entrepreneurs in areas of magical trinket making and selling is a rarity. Additionally hand made trinkets, excluding those who work with special materials, is very limited. An article from ACME highlights the “Top Spots for Handmade trinkets in Placeville” and all of the shops are located in either Happyton or Goodville. This shows how limited hand made trinkets are in Placeville, and thus I want to be a name brand and meet this market need.

Through self-taught techniques, I make trinkets from magical materials that are considered original, unique, and hard-to-find. I have discovered a market in the greater Placeville metropolitan area for my unique magic trinkets. The process for creating my trinkets is highly unique, as the pieces are crafted from pixie dust and orachalum. In addition to my re-purposed unicorn horns, I also use other materials such as kryptonite and toadstones from the southern hills.

Within the last year there has been a growing demand for my original design of trinkets that I call “The Lone Yelps”. These trinkets have proven very popular with women who desire trinkets that glow in the dark. People are pleasantly surprised to learn that the pieces I make for them have a purpose and tell a story. To let them know of the enchanted materials used in them empowers them to tell others about what it is that makes their trinkets special. They marvel at the magical effect of the trinkets that perfectly match a wide variety of other trinkets and styles. Customers who have met real magical unicorns tell me that my trinkets make them feel connected to that experience. Below are a few testimonials from customers about my work:

“Your pieces have such an effect, and made for and with her customers to feel that they are one of a kind.”- T.J.

“These trinkets meet the needs of the magic-seeking population who desire something unique.” – K.J.C.

“Your trinkets make me happy, and I get a thrill when someone asks where I got it.” – L.L.J.

I collaborate and enjoy relationships with many trinket makers. I know of no other designers who produce my unique product. Currently my trinkets are sold in several local magic shops. I have a growing loyal following on Facebook, Etsy, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Passion:

 

Preserving magical history has long been a part of my family lifestyle. This use of materials with magical roots is second nature to me. My family works to connect with wizards, fairies, and leprechauns and preserve their great arts. I have met many creative trinket makers, and I strive to create in a way that protects the magical history. I am affiliated with Trinkets United, a business group of women who share best practices and business savvy. My passion for trinket making and special materials continues to motivate me to work tirelessly in creating new and unique trinkets even though I have very little resources to do it.

Plan:

I seek $5,000 in capital to build my company’s infrastructure. I need funds to pay for licensing and business fees, hire an intern to help me with marketing and advertising, and I need to increase my inventory. This is an immediate need in order for me to grow and sustain my business.

Once the above need is addressed, my goal is to make sales of approximately $30,000 in the first year. I plan to continue be a home based business for the first year so that my overhead cost is controlled thus making me about break even. I will also be tracking my sales and market over this year so that I can plan my budget better for the following year.

I plan to remain a home-based business, there is room to expand. I plan to establish a business account linked to my Square that tracks all sales.

In addition to this proposal, I am exploring other sources of capital such as Kiva Zip and Kickstarter. I am in talks with Studio B for help with outreach to an apprenticeship in France and South Africa. They are also helping with my business plan.

Please consider my application seriously, because this is just the help I need to take my business to the next phase, and reach its full potential.

Example Application 4

Carpet flying education is essential to the development of exceptional genies and their continued advancement in magical proficiency. This education has traditionally involved an apprenticeship model where knowledge is acquired through active learning. With the introduction of the internet, there has been a demand for integrating 21st century technology with traditional methods of carpet flying education. Flying Carpet Institute’s objective is to fill this role by producing comprehensive informational videos and building an on-line platform that facilitates their distribution and discussion. Through this platform, we can address the need for flying carpet education in the digital era.

The apprenticeship model for flying carpet training is laborious and with other demands on genies’ time, genies-in-training have been searching for educational content that efficiently teaches practical applications. Furthermore, practicing flyers are having difficulty following changing flying standards due to new advances in their respective fields. International Society of Carpet Flyers (ISCF) has attempted to solve these problems with an electronic portal that provides educational content and includes informational videos. However, they have been unable to produce impactful content due to their inexperience in filming effectively while flying, as well as the lack of direction and cohesion found within their on-line platform. Despite the shortcomings of their content, ISCF generates an estimated $2,000,000 per year in revenue from an annual subscription of $299, which accrues from a market of 7,000 international carpet flyers.

Flying Carpet Institute is well positioned to provide the best educational content to this demanding market by producing comprehensive informational videos that are coupled with an interactive platform to support them. The video format has been surveyed to be one of the most effective tools for learning to fly carpets. A recent review of flyers-in-training has revealed that time for case preparation is reduced by an estimated 25-40% when using our training videos versus traditional text reading. Furthermore, practicing flyers have stated that the use of our informational videos has increased their proficiency and confidence level when flying The production of our videos entails an extensive method where each flying technique is entirely encapsulated and post-processed systematically. The final product is a video module that appeals to both novice and experienced flyers.

At present, we have produced over 40 unique carpet-flying techniques and 80 instructional videos on the topic of flying carpets in severe weather in partnership with the nationally recognized Carpet Flyers Union. This partnership includes a world-renowned flyer and together, we have produced content that is in high demand within the market. These videos are currently hosted on YouTube with the appropriate design to help users navigate the library effectively. Due to its success, we are developing a model for monetization that will allow us to expand our content into other carpet-flying situations. This revenue model will include licensing video modules to carpet-flying associations, acquiring sponsorships from the industry to market their carpet flying products to our audience, and charging an annual subscription for the use of the interactive video platform. The development of this platform will require roughly $200,000 in investment from angel investors or partnerships between carpet-flying companies and associations.

The funds from this grant will enable us to complete the first three months of our roadmap. Within one month, we will establish a limited liability company that will support the creation of training videos while we license our current content to generate revenue. In the next three months, we will complete a blueprint and cost-analysis for developing an effective delivery platform for the video content. The following months will include developing strategies for fund accruement to build the delivery platform. With the appropriate funding, we will begin construction of the platform for content delivery between six and twelve months. While surgical videos already exist in the market, Surgical Academy excels at producing the best surgical videography and we will become the national leader in carpet-flying education by delivering these products and bringing the global carpet-flying industry into the digital era.