The Delta I-Fund offers multiple cohorts through June 2019. Please click the "Apply Now" link at the bottom of the page for application deadlines and start dates. The winter cohort, set to kick off on December 15th, will focus on innovations in agriculture (AgTech).
Each cohort will include approximately 10 teams. Teams must have at least two team members, though a minimum of three is preferable (single-founder companies are ineligible). It is recommended that teams have a balance of business and science-based backgrounds. During the cohort, each team will be eligible to receive funds for technical assistance and will be assigned an experienced mentor from the business community.
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.
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 amy,email@example.com prior to applying. She will provide you with information on technologies within the DRA territory available for commercialization.
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 for the program.
The structured training provided during the program is modeled after I-Corps™, a program formed by the National Science Foundation in 2011. Thousands of teams nationally have been through I-Corps, and the curriculum is founded on the Lean LaunchPad™ entrepreneurial training developed by Steve Blank and Stanford University. Entrepreneurs in the Delta I-Fund are taught to develop and document their proposed business model on a lean canvas, and then to test their hypotheses through a rigorous customer discovery process.