AIC-SMU Technoloogy Business Incubation Foundation (AIC-SMUTBI) which is an Incubator supported by AIM, NITI Aayog, Government of India has been selected by Startup India, Department of Promotion of Industries and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India to provide financial assistance to startups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry, and commercialization of Product.
AIC-SMUTBI is the first incubator from North East India to be part of the portfolio of Startup India Seedfund as on date.
Currently, there are 769 startups registered with Startup India Portal out of which only 31 incubator has so far been listed in the portfolio of Startup India SeedFund Scheme. AIC-SMUTBI is one of the latest additions to their portfolio.
AIC-SMUTBI supports startup at their early stage of the venture and is sector agnostic. It currently has 73 startups from all the states of North East India and also other parts of the country working in domains like Defence, Aerospace, Agriculture, EdTech, e-Mobilty, FinTech, FMCG, HealthCare, IOT/ML/AL, Tourism etc.
As per CEO of AIC-SMUTBI, Dr Tej Chingtham, Seed funding is the first official equity funding stage. It typically represents the first official money that a startup raises. Funding from Angel investors and Venture Capital firms becomes available to startups only after the proof of concept has been provided. Similarly, banks generally provide loans only to asset-backed applicants. It is essential to provide seed funding to startups with an innovative idea to conduct proof of concept trials. Many innovative business ideas fail to take off due to the absence of this critical capital required at an early stage for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry and commercialization. AIC-SMUTBI Seed Fund offered to such promising cases can have a multiplier effect in validation of business ideas of many startups, leading to employment generation.
The funds can be raised by startups most likely in the instruments of Convertible Notes, Debt or equity with opportunities for follow on investments from the partner Venture Fund and Investors.
This Seed Fund of AIC-SMUTBI will be available to startups recognized by DPIIT, incorporated not more than 2 years at the time of application and should not have received more than Rs 10 lakh of monetary support under any other Central or State Government scheme. This does not include prize money from competitions and grand challenges, subsidized working space, founder monthly allowance, access to labs, or access to prototyping facility.