"Looking for micro-loan/grant/investment for prototyping hardware."
Currently Not Another E-Book, LTD, sells Bookeen Cybook Gen3 ebook readers. (These use e-ink displays as does the Sony PRS-505 and the Amazon Kindle.) But we'd like to buy the Evaluation Kit offered by Netronix (maker of the hardware used in the Cybook as well as the various Astak ebook readers) which would allow us to design our own ebook reader firmware and thus allow us to buy the basic EB-600/610/611 hardware and install our own firmware. This would increase our profit margin by about 150%. The Evaluation Kit runs $3,500 and is at this time beyond our means.
Further, we'd like to break out of our "accept order requests until we have enough to place an order" cycle and raise enough money to allow us to buy 100 or more units at a time of the Bookeen Cybook Gen3. Our current cost per Gen3 is $350/unit and our current price is $375/unit because we can't buy in quantity. (If we get the Evaluation Kit, we can buy the EB-6xx series for $260/unit in quantities up to 999. At 1,000 unit orders we could buy these units for $216/unit. Obviously, we'd rather sell the EB-6xx series for $350/unit than the Cybook for $375/unit.)