NIDHI Seed Support Scheme under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) provides financial assistance to start-ups with promising ideas, innovations, and technologies. This timely support enables deserving start-ups to build their financial foundation and be able to raise investments from angel and venture capitalist or be a position to seek loans from commercial banks and other financial institutions.
Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (Social Alpha) is hosting a seed fund with a corpus of INR 10 crores under the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations – Seed Support System (NIDHI-SSS). This seed support will act as a bridge between development and commercialization of innovative technologies/products/services in a relatively hassle-free manner.
An expert committee known as the NIDHI-Seed Support Management Committee (NIDHI-SSMC) constituted by Social Alpha evaluates prospective start-ups for incubation and required seed support. The progress of the selected start-ups is continually monitored by the committee.
Areas covered under the financial assistance
- Technology/Product Development and de-risking activities
- Testing and Trials
- Professional Consultancy (To attract professors/experts from institutions to work with the startup)
- IPR issues
- Manpower for day-to-day operations
- Any other area as deemed necessary and recommended by the Seed Support Management Committee
Areas where the financial assistance SHALL NOT be utilised by the start-up
- Repayment of loans or dues of promoters and their associates to the company.
- Creation of personal assets.
- Repayment of loans from any other source or for payment of interest on the support borrowed from such other source.
- For extending loan support to promoters or their associates
- For making any inter corporate deposits or any speculative purpose.
- Personal benefit of promoters or their associates.
- Company/ Promoter buying shares or any other security of the company or any other company and any other areas defined by the local level committee at the Incubator level.
Eligibility Criteria for Startups
- An applying startup should be a registered company in India, preferably be a DPIIT registered/applied start-up and should have completed a minimum of three months of association with Social Alpha in its resident or virtual incubation program.
- The start-up should have developed clarity on their Unique Selling Preposition (USP) through customer validation and a value proposition for its targeted customers.
- This support is not meant for Indian Subsidiaries of MNCs/foreign companies. Persons holding Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) would be considered as Indian citizens for the purpose of this scheme.
- The shareholding by Indian promoters in the start-up should be at least 51%.
- Preference will be given to start-ups who have not availed any funding from any Government of India /State Govt. body.
- The application should mandatorily include a declaration by the applying start-up that they have not received any NIDHI-seed support from any other DST supported Incubator.