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Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council

SEED (Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development) Fund

The Entrepreneurship Development Center (Venture Center) is hosting a seed fund with a corpus of Rs 2 crore under the scheme "Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development Fund" ("SEED Fund") of the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).

SEED Fund is meant to provide capital assistance to startups with new and meritorious ideas, innovations and technologies. This would enable some of these start-ups to graduate to a level where they will be able to raise investments from angel/Venture capitalist or they will reach a position to seek loans from commercial banks /financial institutions. Thus the proposed seed support is positioned to act as a bridge between promoters' investment and Venture/Angel investment.

Incubatees of Venture Center are encouraged to contact Venture Center for further information.

Quantum of financial assistance to one start up will be up to Rs 30 lakh

Broad Areas to be covered under the financial assistance include:

  • Product development
  • Testing and trials
  • Test Marketing
  • Mentoring
  • Professional Consultancy ( To attract Professors of institutions to work with small firms)
  • IPR issues
  • Man power for day to day operations
  • Any other area as deemed necessary and recommended by the Management Committee.

The Seed fund emphasizes:

  • Alignment with Venture Center's Focus areas more specifically Biotech/Biomed
  • Product offerings (vs service offerings)
  • IP-rich enterprises
  • Strong knowledge components in enterprises

The SEED fund is only for start ups with minimum 51% ownership by Indian citizens (does not include OCI or PIO) and under BIRAC SEED Fund, a company will be considered as start up,

  • Up to 5 years from the date of its incorporation
  • It is working towards innovation development, deployment or commercialization of new products, processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property.
  • If its turnover for any of the financial years has not exceeded Rs 25 cr

Selection Criteria:

Here is a list of make/break criteria for applicants:

  • There must be at-least one dedicated entrepreneur involved in the venture
  • There must be a formal business plan
  • The idea and team should be technically sound
  • The venture and the team must have high ethical & professional standards
  • The venture must have a strong technology/knowledge component
  • EHS requirements must be met
  • The team should show potential and credibility for raising money in future
  • The venture must be registered as a private limited company, or must be in the process of registration
  • The amount of funding requested must be less than Rs 30 lakh
  • The entrepreneur(s) must be willing to share equity in the venture

Applications for the seed fund will be reviewed based on criteria such as (but not limited to):

  • Is amount of funding requested enough to reach critical milestone?
  • Does the venture have a clear, potentially significant/singular value proposition
  • How big/fast growing is the potential market?
  • Are target customers clearly identified?
  • How credible is the technology? (Is PoC credible in the opinion of subject-matter experts?)
  • Are there regulatory/certification/policy risks?
  • What are the sources of sustainable competitive advantage (eg. novelty, patentability, etc.)?
  • What is the quality of the business plan (revenue model, product roadmap, market segments, etc.)?

Typical terms for seed funding:

  • Investment mode: Equity ownership in a private limited company
  • Equity stake for seed fund: Up to 10%
  • Investment amount: Up to 30 lakh
  • BoD representation: 1 Board Nominee Director and/or observer of Venture Center
  • Reporting: Bi-annual presentation to SEED Fund committee + Annual financials/MIS

Application form can be downloaded here.

Interested start-ups are encouraged to contact Venture Center for further information @ shruti@venturecenter.co.in / 020 25865877/78/76