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First Fund @ Delaware Innovation Space

Apr 1 - Dec 30 | Wilmington, DE, USA
Business building expertise, educational programs, scientific equipment, and extensive, multi-use wet laboratories to incubate and accelerate early stage, scientific focused startups

About this Program

First Fund is an exclusive program at the Delaware Innovation Space (DISI), that provides select early stage startup companies with up to $150,000* to access to DISI's business building expertise, core programs, scientific equipment, and extensive, multi-use wet laboratories, including up to $75,000* cash to seed operations.

First Fund REQUIRES residency at Delaware Innovation Space and cash will not be released until startup moves into Delaware Innovation Space.

First Fund's goal is to provide science entrepreneurs a mechanism to start critical lab and business development work today, in order to accelerate reaching early critical business milestones.

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

  • Healthcare
  • Industrial Biotechnology
  • Advanced Materials
  • Nutrition
  • Renewable Energy
  • Chemical Ingredients
  • DISI will review applicants on a first come, first served basis to determine which startups will present to the Delaware Innovation Space selection board. The entire process will only take a few weeks from start to decision.

    To apply, complete this on-line application, which should take around 60 min.

    Please review note terms and conditions before applying.

    For more information about the First Fund or in general about the Delaware Innovation Space, please contact Gail Ball via email at, Peter Melley via email at, Mike Patterson via email at, or Bill Provine via email at

    *The investment amount a startup is eligible for via First Fund will be dependent upon the requested duration of residency at the Delaware Innovation Space matched up to 1:1 with cash value of residency. Maximum cash investment is $75,000 USD.

    Delaware Innovation Space ( is a multi-dimensional, non-profit incubator & accelerator for start-ups that leverages the expertise, resources, and infrastructure of the world renown Experimental Station campus in Wilmington, Delaware. It is a public-private partnership between the State of Delaware, DuPont and the University of Delaware. Delaware Innovation Space is an ecosystem where scientists, business leaders, community members, investors, and service providers in the industrial biotech, advanced materials, chemical ingredients, renewable energy, nutrition and healthcare fields can build business concepts together and accelerate the path to commercialization.

    Funding Information

    • Funds up to $150k per team
    • Accepts 3 companies


    Aerospace, Agriculture, Biotechnology, Chemicals and Chemical Products, Clean Technology + 11 more