NIDHI iTBI DST scheme aims to provide financial assistance to women led startups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry and commercialization to enable these startups to graduate to a level where they will be able to raise investments from angel investors or venture capitalists or seek loans from commercial banks or financial institutions.


  • The startup must have a business idea to develop a product or a service with a market fit, viable commercialization, and scope of scaling
  • The startup should be using technology in its core product or service, business model, or distribution model, or methodology to solve the problem being targeted.
  • Shareholding by women promoters in the startup should be at least 51% at the time of reciving grants under the scheme, as per the Companies Act, 2013 and SEBI (ICDR) Regulations, 2018.
  • A startup applicant can avail seed support in the form of grant and debt/convertible debentures each once as per the guidelines of the scheme

Seed Fund Support

Seed Fund to an eligible startup by the incubator is disbursed as follows:

    • Up to Rs. 10 Lakhs as a grant for validation of Proof of Concept, or prototype development, or product trials. The grant shall be disbursed in milestone-based instalments. These milestones can be related to the development of prototypes, product testing, building a product ready for market launch, etc
    • A startup applicant can avail seed support in the form of grant and debt/convertible debentures each once as per the guidelines of the scheme

Application of fund support

Seed fund shall strictly not be used by startups for creation of any facilities and shall be utilized for the purpose it has been granted for. A grant can be used for validation of Proof of Concept, prototype development, or product trials. A debt/ convertible debenture can be used for Market entry, Commercialization, or Scaling up.

Application Process

An online call for applications is hosted on website of DTU-IIF. Startups can apply for the scheme. The application submission is entirely online, and no physical submission of documents is required.

Evaluation, Selection of applications and closure of incubation:

Eligible applications shall be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Is there a need for this Idea?
  • Feasibility
  • Potential Impact
  • Novelty
  • Team
  • Fund Utilization Plan
  • Additional Parameters
  • Presentation

The Selection Committee shall evaluate applicants based on their submissions and presentations and select startups for Seed Fund within 45 days of receipt of application. Selected startups shall receive seed funding under the respective incubator that selects them as beneficiaries as per their preference shared during application. The incubator shall execute a legal agreement with the selected startups before the release of the first instalment. The startup shall submit a final report and audited utilisation certificate at the end of the project duration.

Selected startups shall furnish details on the above parameter to the incubator in all progress reports

  • Progress of proof of concept
  • Progress of prototype development
  • Progress of product development
  • Progress of field trials
  • Progress of market launch
  • Quantum of loan, angel or VC funding raised
  • Jobs created by startup
  • Turnover of startup
  • Any other appropriate parameter


An applicant can apply to the scheme again after 3 months of receiving a rejection. This buffer time is given to ensure that you have worked on the feedback received from incubators and are ready to be considered again.