Early stage validation fund + training
The Delta The I-Fund is an early stage, proof-of-concept fund formed to capitalize and train entrepreneurs in the eight-state Delta region. Each startup team accepted into the program will receive up The Delta The I-Fund is an early stage, proof-of-concept fund formed to capitalize and train entrepreneurs in the eight-state Delta region. Each startup team accepted into the program will receive up to $50,000 in investment funding and complete 12 weeks of rigorous training alongside other startup teams. The Delta I-Fund is administered by the Innovation Hub at Winrock International, in partnership with entrepreneurial support organizations (“ESOs”) throughout the Delta region.
The Delta I-Fund will offer four programs from September 2017 to May 2019. Each program, or cohort, will include approximately 15 teams. Each team must have at least two team members, and a minimum of three is preferable (single-founder companies are ineligible). An experienced mentor from the business community will be assigned to each team.
The types of ideas and startups targeted by the Delta I-Fund are those based on innovative business models including:
• Patented university research, including medical, biomedical, science, and engineering applications.
• Software and other IT-based platform solutions.
• Any other patented or proprietary technology or innovation which provides a competitive advantage.
As for the stage of the company, the Delta I-Fund seeks very early stage ideas and companies that need validation, including pre-revenue startups, and entrepreneurs still in the ideation stage. Companies that are post-revenue and already positioned for angel and venture capital funding are likely to be too advanced in stage.
Upon admission to the Delta I-Fund, each team will receive $5,000, and will be eligible to receive up to $50,000 of investment based on their attainment of milestones throughout the program. Investments in each company will be made via a SAFE agreement; learn more at www.ycombinator.com/documents.
The structured training provided during the 12-week program is modeled after I-Corps, a program formed by the National Science Foundation in 2011. Entrepreneurs in the Delta I-Fund are taught to develop and document their proposed business model on a lean canvas, and then to test their hypotheses through a rigorous customer discovery process. more