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Straight Talk About Finances

Morgan Freeman (FIRST Promo Video 2011)

Every competing FRC team must have a robot. Robots may not exceed $4,000 in materials for construction. As part of the MAR (Mid Atlantic Regiona) FIRST Robotics Competition, teams are required to have their robot participate in two district competitions each requiring a entrance fee of $2,500 for a total investment of $5,000. With earned advancement, attending a regional event costs a team an additional $4,000.

For teams making it to the regional event a season’s expenses will be $13,500 at the minimum providing the team does not need apparel, equipment, additional supplies, travel expenses, etc. Supplies for sub teams such as marketing and safety and equipment for the build team are additional expenses. Outfitting the Pit alone can be quite expensive. The older a team, the more resources it will have accrued, however, this can take many years causing teams to spend more time fundraising than they do in the build related areas.

From the regional level, qualifying teams advance to the international competition, an event that carries its own fees of $5,000 in addition to travel and shipping expenses. A season involving an international event can cost a team between $25,000 and $30,000. Aperture has attended the international event twice in its four years of existence. During the 2012-2013 season a special invitation to attend this event was offered and was declined due to lack of funds.

As a young team we rely heavily on fundraising, grants, and most importantly community and sponsorship support. In addition to financial support educational support is needed in the form of mentorship. With areas such as website design, computer aided drafting and design, programming, business, videography, animation, marketing, writing, fundraising, along with electrical and mechanical design, members have the potential to develop a variety of skill sets.

This type of educational experience is critical to our country’s growth but doesn’t happen without the commitment of sponsors and mentors. If you or your company would be interested in supporting our team and its membership, please contact our coach at:

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