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Call for Proposal: NIDHI Seed Support Program 2021 by DST, Govt of India: Apply by June 9: Expired

Proposals are invited for NIDHI Seed Support Program 2021 by DST, Govt of India. The last date of submission of the proposal is 9 June 2021.

About NIDHI Seed Support Program 2021

The National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) of Department of Science & Technology (DST), and Government of India (GOI) have announced a call for proposals for the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) Seed Support Program to provide financial assistance to startups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry and commercialization etc.

The key objective of the NIDHI- SEED SUPPORT (SS) PROGRAM is to ensure timely availability of the seed support to the deserving incubatee startups within an incubator, thereby enabling them to take their venture to the next level and facilitate their success in the marketplace. The scheme also enables the incubators to widen their pipeline of startups and also share the success of their startups which would also result in ensuring their long term operational sustainability.

This umbrella programme NIDHI, aims at nurturing start-ups through scouting, supporting and scaling of innovations. The various departments and ministries of the central government, state governments, academic and R & D institutions, financial institutions, angel investors, venture capitalist, mentors and the private sector would be the key stakeholders of NIDHI.


The eligibility criteria for an incubator to apply for the Nidhi- Seed Support (SS) Program.

  • Incubators registered as not-for Profit entities which are approved or funded by the DST or any other central or state government (who have not previously benefited from NIDHI-SSS) are eligible to apply.
  • Incubator should be operational for at least two years on the date of application to the scheme and having incubated at least 10 startups requiring seed support.
  • Incubators which are funded by DST/other central or state government but are hosted by Private Institutions are also eligible to apply.
  • Incubators must demonstrate a strong track record in incubation management and significant progress towards self-financing.
  • Preference will be given to incubators having team members with basic domain knowledge and understanding in early stage startup financing.
  • Any additional criteria as may be decided by the National Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee.

The eligibility criteria for a startup to apply for the Nidhi-Seed Support (SS) Program are as follows:

  • The applicant startup must be a company registered in India, preferably be a DPIIT registered/applied startup and should have completed a minimum 3 months of association with the incubator in its resident or virtual incubation program.
  • The applicant startup should have developed clarity on Unique Selling Preposition (USP) through customer validation and value proposition for its targeted customers.
  • This support is not meant for Indian Subsidiaries of MNCs/foreign companies. Persons holding Overseas Citizens of India (OCI). Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) would be considered as Indian citizens for the purpose of this scheme.
  • The shareholding by Indian promoters in the incubate startup should be at least 51%.
  • Preference will be given to startups, who have not availed any funding from any Government of India /State Govt. body.

Quantum and Disbursement of the Nidhi- Seed Support (SS) Program from DST as Grant-in-aid for seed support to the incubators.

  • The maximum financial support to be made available to an incubator would be Rs.1000 lakhs to be released in a few phases as per the need, capacity and capabilities of the Incubator in accordance with a proper process.
  • The grant would be released in about 2-5 rounds with a max of Rs. 500.00 Lakhs per round based on the assessment of the perceived needs of startups requiring seed funds and the capacity and capabilities of the Incubator for implementing the NIDHI- Seed Support Program.
  • The support/round should be utilized in about 2-3 years.

Quantum and Disbursement of the Nidhi- Seed Support (SS) ProgramFunds to the Startups.

  • The Seed Support size for the startups shall be capped at Rs 100 lakhs per startup (Rs. 100 Lakhs considered only in exceptional cases).
  • As per the data and past experiences, incubators have typically invested in the range of Rs 10- 25 lakhs per startup.
  • The Seed Support would be disbursed to incubatee(physical or Virtual) which are registered units only based on the recommendation of the Seed Support Management Committee constituted by the incubator. It is necessary that there exists a proper legally vetted agreement between the incubatee and the Incubator.
  • The Seed Support Management Committee (SSMC) will decide the quantum of investment based on multiple considerations including market and industry sector, stage of technology and business development, co-investment offers etc as appropriate.
  • A startup supported once through NIDHI- Seed Support Program will not be eligible for applying for subsequent rounds of seed support at any incubator;however cases requiring additional seed support will be considered by the DST after a careful rationale. In such cases, after recommendation by the SSMC, final approval shall be taken by DST.
  • The Incubator should examine and scrutinize all cases of startups requiring seed support before putting the matter up to the Seed Support Management Committee and the final approval shall be taken from DST.
  • After the seed support is recommended to an incubatee startup, the terms of agreement with the incubatee start up should be framed by the incubator linking the progress milestones, monitoring norms, reasonable repayment, recovery provisions in case of loan and terms of equity liquidation in case of equity holding by Incubator.
  • The funds for the scheme will be disbursed as Recurring Grant for Innovation and Technology development.

Dr Sapana Kaushik
Email: sapana.kaushik[at]
Call: 01126590289

Click here for the application form and official notification of NIDHI Seed Support Program 2021 by DST, Govt of India.

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