Frustrated with a funding catch 22 and looking for advice

I've been working on a new manufacturing process. In theory, all the science/engineering works beautifully. My goal of course, is to take it to market. First and foremost I need some $100k-$200k to build a small scale prototype to act as a proof of concept. Once that is done and I can therefore prove it is economically advantageous for firms to use. The problem comes from needing to raise the initial money for the proof of concept study. I've read up on SBIR Grants, but seeing as I am not an established company the likelihood of me finding funding there is quite low. I have connections with the local research university, but even if I could get a research grant from the university it would certainly not be enough to perform the full proof of concept study. It seems to leave me with the option of trying to attract capital in the form of angel investment. I am currently compiling a list of angel investors to pitch to, but I am afraid that I won't have enough 'evidence' to convince them to invest. I need money to build a prototype in order to show the process's viability, but I need a prototype in order to get money, it seems like a catch 22! I can estimate the costs and revenues based on existing technologies, but I can only get so precise. As a side point, I would hate to give up equity, but understand it might be necessary. I suppose I will have to try to pitch to the angels, but if I can't find success what are my options? I don't want to wait years to save up the money for obvious reasons. Any advice is appreciated


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