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Division of Small Business

Delaware Innovation Space launches program to help fund scientific startups

Delaware Innovation Space, a public-private partnership that runs an incubator and accelerator for science companies at the Experimental Station in Wilmington, is starting a program to provide funding to early-stage companies.

The First Fund Program will invest up to $75,000 in Delaware Innovation Space tenants that are less than three years old, have raised less than $500,000 and whose main focus is advanced materials, chemical ingredients, health care, industrial biotech, nutrition or renewable energy.

The funding is in the form of a convertible note. The money will go for the cost of a tenant’s monthly site license for space at the Experimental Station.

The program will allow early-stage firms to begin their research and start developing their business sooner than they otherwise would, said a Delaware Innovation Space press release.

“One of the biggest barriers in building a science based business is access to early stage capital,” Delaware Innovation Space CEO William D. Provine said in the release. “Science startups require specialized capabilities that routinely incur substantial cash outlays even at the earliest stages of development.”

Separately, Delaware Innovation Space announced it received $3 million from the  National Development Council and a $225,000 grant from Discover Bank to fund Delaware Innovation Space programs.

The Delaware Innovation Space is a public-private partnership of the state of Delaware, DuPont and the University of Delaware to support the creation and growth of science-based companies in Delaware.

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