First Fund - Applications Due by December 15th, 2023

Sep 16 - Dec 15 | Wilmington, DE, USA
The Home for Science Entrepreneurs

About this Program

The First Fund is a source of funding for companies in need of capital, lab space, and wrap-around support and mentorship. The First Fund provides selected early-stage science startup companies with up to $200,000 in investment which is placed via a convertible note.

Funding is released in six-month tranches based on successful progression of business milestones.

Companies may select between two funding tracks for each six-month period:

o Track 1: 1/2 lab + office + Support Services Package* + $25k cash = $50k Note
o Track 2: Full lab + 2 offices + Support Services Package* + $50k cash = $100k Note

Progression from one 6-month tranche to the next requires successful completion/progression of business objectives and milestones.

*Support Services Package Includes: access to business experts, connection to investors and partners, access to loaned and leverage scientific equipment, on-site gym & cafeteria, free parking, free coffee/espresso, sparkling/still water, conference rooms, collaboration areas (see website or the 2-page summary (fact sheet) for more details.

The mission of the First Fund is to make high-quality investments early on in a science entrepreneurs journey, even being the first believer in a company to allow critical lab and other work to be accelerated to enable milestones to be met quicker and the next wave of investment to occur.

The First Fund was designed to help early-stage science-based startups in areas such as: cleantech, industrial biotech, advanced materials, chemical ingredients, renewable energy, nutrition, therapeutics, diagnostics, and healthcare fields

To apply, complete this online application here in Gust, which should take around 60 min.

For more information about the First Fund or in general about the Delaware Innovation Space, please contact Bill Provine via email at or RoseAnn Rosenthal at

The Innovation Space ( ) is a multi-dimensional, non-profit entrepreneurial ecosystem and venture development organization. It is a public-private partnership founded with contributions from the State of Delaware, DuPont and the University of Delaware. The Innovation Space is an ecosystem where entrepreneurs, 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.


Aerospace, Agriculture, Biotechnology, Chemicals and Chemical Products, Clean Technology +14 more