The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has opened the call for concept notes for the Innovator Seed Fund (ISF).
The ISF lies under the umbrella of HEC’s mandate of fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. The Commission has launched a Higher Education Development (HEDP) project – supported by the World Bank – under which the initiative of ISF has been taken.
The Innovator Seed Fund will equip aspiring entrepreneurs to transform their business idea into a successful venture. The ISF will provide the necessary supporting mechanisms as well as seed funding to early-stage startups. The grant winners – fifteen in total – will receive $35,000 in cash along with trainings and any other support required by the startup through HEC’s recognized Business Incubation Centers in universities throughout the country. The tentative duration of the project is one year.
The application must:
- Either be a student/alumni/faculty/researcher of a public or a private higher education institute
- Have been endorsed by one of HEC-recognized Business Incubation Centers*
- Not have received prior funding
- Have an SECP-registered business
*The established BICs can be found on this link.
The application has to be submitted on HEC’s online portal before the deadline of 15th January, 2022. The HEC has also listed all relevant documents and templates on their website. Applications have to follow the guidelines and templates provided. Along with the concept note, the application has to attach the curriculum vitae of the principal applicant and up to three team members.
The application will be evaluated on three main categories: the strength of the team, the requirements of the application and, finally, the value proposition of the startup.
Foremost, the applicant can increase their chances of selection by making sure all the sections of the concept note template have been filled out along with the provision of CVs of the relevant personnel. Moreover, the team members cited in the concept note must have a diverse set of skills – including technical and business expertise – that are sufficient for guaranteeing the success of the startup. Finally, one of the most crucial parts of the evaluation is the value proposition of the startup. Since the ISF is geared towards economic development through entrepreneurship, the startup has to be a value-adding and disruptive innovation. Drawing up link between the startup’s value proposition and HEDP’s mandate would increase chances of success.
More information can be found on HEC’s website.