First Fund Program


Up to $150,000 for science startups to rapidly access DISI’s business building programs, scientific resources and wet laboratories plus seed funding to start operations.

An exclusive program, First Fund provides early stage science startups with critical seed and pre-seed funding and access to Delaware Innovation Space’s business building expertise, community of experts, core programs, scientific equipment, and extensive multi-use laboratories. Successful applicants can now each secure an investment of up to $150,000 from the First Fund Program to fund their startups, via a convertible note.  Funding is made up of a 1:1 mix of services to cash, each up to $75,000 in total.

Don’t Let Waiting For Funding Stop Your Company

In today’s economic climate, it can take over 12 months to close investment rounds and grants. This significantly delays company & product development as science startups require specialized capabilities that routinely incur substantial cash outlays, even at the earliest stages of development.

It is the mission of the Delaware Innovation Space to enable the next generation of science companies & entrepreneurs to create the materials and products to improve our future daily lives.  The First Fund will provide science entrepreneurs a mechanism to start critical lab and business development work today, in order to accelerate reaching early important business milestones and speed up the arrival of the future. 

 Rapidly Access The Critical Scientific Resources You Need

Program Details

The First Fund was designed to help early stage science startups, with a compelling business model focused upon a validated problem or opportunity, focused upon the following areas:

  • Healthcare
  • Industrial Biotechnology
  • Advanced Materials
  • Nutrition
  • Renewable Energy
  • Chemical Ingredients

Delaware Innovation Space will review applicants on a first come, first served basis to determine which startups will present to the First Fund selection board. The entire process will only take a few weeks from start to investment decision.

Investment Terms

The First Fund program uses a Convertible Note with the following terms: 

  • Up to $75,000 in monthly fees & services
  • Up to $75,000 in cash, released on move-in
  • $150,000 Maximum Lifetime Investment Per Company
  • 36 Month Duration
  • 6% Simple Interest Rate
  • 20% Conversion Discount at Qualified Financing Event of $750K or More
  • $5M Valuation Cap
  • Acquisition Premium of 150% of Note Value + Accrued Interest
  • Pre-Payment Option 

For more information on the First Fund Program or in general about the Delaware Innovation Space, please contact Bill Provine, President & CEO via email at