First Fund provides early stage startups with critical funding to easily and quickly access Delaware Innovation Space’s business building expertise, core programs, scientific equipment, and extensive multi-use wet laboratories. Eligible startups can each secure up to $75,000 investment from the First Fund Program, via a convertible note, funding monthly site-license costs for residency at the Delaware Innovation Space.
“One of the biggest barriers in building a science based business is access to early stage capital,” said William D. Provine, Delaware Innovation Space President and CEO. “Science startups require specialized capabilities that routinely incur substantial cash outlays even at the earliest stages of development,” according to Provine. Raising funds for scientific startups can take in excess of 12 months in today’s economic climate, delaying the start of critical work by more than a year. First Fund provides science entrepreneurs a mechanism to start critical lab and business development work today, getting them to successfully reach early important business milestones in rapid fashion.
First Fund is designed for early stage science startups with the following characteristics:
- Main focus area in Healthcare, Industrial Biotechnology, Advanced Materials, Nutrition, Renewable Energy, or Chemical Ingredients.
- Compelling business model focused upon a validated problem or opportunity
- Under 3 years since company formation
- Raised less than $500,000 total to date, including both dilutive and non-dilutive funding
Companies seeking funding from the First Fund program will start by completing an on-line application. “This process will only take a few weeks as we’re looking to accelerate our clients’ successes, not be yet another bottleneck or roadblock,” says Provine.
“Science based companies truly impact our current daily lives in so many ways, from the strength of the vehicles we travel in, to the powerful medicines which heal us, to the latest electronics and batteries in our smartphones enabling our digital lifestyles,” says Provine. He continues, “It is our mission at Delaware Innovation Space to enable the next generation of science companies & entrepreneurs to create the materials and products to improve our future daily lives. First Fund will be the tool providing rapid access to critical scientific resources to speed up the arrival of that future.”