4 min read

Enhancing startup grant applications with ChatGPT

21 August 2023

Applying for grants has the potential to significantly impact startups by providing essential funds and resources for their growth. However, the application process is often intricate, demanding, and time-consuming, requiring startups to create compelling narratives, meet specific criteria, and present accurate financial projections.

Here are seven application areas where ChatGPT can be a game-changer. 👇

Ideation and brainstorming

ChatGPT serves as an excellent brainstorming partner. When ideating for your grant proposal, provide context and ask for innovative project ideas aligned with grant objectives. Use the generated ideas as a foundation to develop a unique proposal.

Crafting persuasive narratives

Use ChatGPT to generate content for sections like the executive summary, project description, and impact assessment. The AI-generated content can provide you with a starting point, which you can then refine to resonate more powerfully with reviewers.

Tailoring applications to specific grants

Customize your application by prompting ChatGPT with specific evaluation criteria and grant requirements. ChatGPT can help generate content that addresses these specifics, increasing the alignment between your proposal and the grant's objectives.

Budgeting and financial projections

Enter expense categories and ask for detailed cost estimates. This AI-generated content can then be molded into a well-structured budget for your proposal.

Generating proofreading and editing support

Let ChatGPT to review and provide suggestions for grammar, style, and formatting improvements. While ChatGPT can't replace human editing entirely, it can help you catch errors you might have missed.

Answering clarification questions

If you're uncertain about a specific section, use ChatGPT to break down the topic or section in question. This can provide you with additional insights and help you articulate your ideas more effectively.

Feedback and repetition

Engage with ChatGPT to generate multiple variations of content for different sections. Combine and refine these outputs to create a comprehensive and compelling application.

How to use ChatGPT for Startup grants

To get the best out of ChatGPT it is necessary to guide the AI with precise prompts to align the output with needs and objectives of your grant proposal. Ambiguous or vague prompts can lead to less relevant or inaccurate responses, potentially derailing the quality and accuracy of the generated content. Take a look at our prompt writing cheat sheet to ensure you avoid mistakes in the future.

How to use ChatGpt for grants SpinLab Sheet

The Pros and Cons using Chatgpt for grants applications

Remember that ChatGPT is a very helpful tool for grant writers, but not a grant writer itself. By considering the following pros and cons, you can make an informed decision on how to effectively integrate ChatGPT into your grant application process. It's important to strike a balance between leveraging AI's strengths and incorporating human expertise to ensure your grant application is compelling, accurate, and aligned with your startup's objectives.


  • Adapts answers to fit application guidelines
  • Creates multiple versions of content for each section
  • Quickly generates draft content, accelerating the initial writing phase


  • Does not know certain logics and terms in grants
  • Be careful about data privacy and security while using ChatGPT
  • Generated content may lack the distinct voice and identity of your startup
  • AI might introduce biases or inaccuracies, requiring careful review for factual correctness

It's crucial to closely monitor the output generated by ChatGPT, especially when dealing with niche definitions or specific criteria. By clarifying acronyms, providing feedback, and refining prompts, you can significantly enhance the quality and relevance of the content it produces.

Check out our article on essential AI tools every startup should know about to boost your efficiency.

 This article was written in collaboration with Max Heinrich.

Eric Weber

Written by Eric Weber

Following positions at B2B- businesses in IT and wholesale he worked for 2,5 years at HHL and the SMILE startup initiative in the field of entrepreneurship and as freelance consultant. He holds a MSc from Leipzig University and a PhD from HHL.

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