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 training alongside other startup teams. The program 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 fall 2017 to spring 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 fall 2017 cohort will start 9/9 (Arkansas) and 9/16 (other Delta states).
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.
If you are an entrepreneurial team searching for an innovative idea or technology to serve as the basis for your startup, please contact Amy Hopper at email@example.com prior to applying. She will provide you with information on Delta technologies available for potential commercialization.
Upon admission to the Delta I-Fund, each team will receive $5,000, and will be eligible to receive up to $50,000 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 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 program are taught how to develop and document their business model on a lean canvas, and how to test their hypotheses through a rigorous customer discovery process. more