First Fund Program


Up to $75,000* for science startups to rapidly access DISI’s business building programs, scientific resources, & wet laboratories

An exclusive program, First Fund provides select early stage startup companies with up to $75,000*, providing quick access to the business building expertise, core programs, scientific equipment, & extensive, multi-use wet laboratories available at the Delaware Innovation Space.

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: 

  • 36 Month Duration
  • 6% Simple Interest Rate
  • 20% Conversion Discount at Qualified Financing Event of $750K or More
  • Uncapped Valuation
  • Acquisition Premium of 150% of Note Value + Accrued Interest
  • $75,000 Maximum Lifetime Investment Per Company
  • Pre-Payment Option 

*Funding can only be used to access the physical & programmatic resources and multi-use wet lab spaces & workstations of the Delaware Innovation Space. This is not a cash investment nor can it be redeemed for listed value.

For more information on the First Fund Program or in general about the Delaware Innovation Space, please contact Mike Rinkunas, Director of Acceleration via email at