• Non-incubated startups can apply but will have to accept incubation by IIE and accept mentoring upon the award of the grant​
  • Startups who have received more than USD 150,000 in external funding at the time of application are not eligible for the application

Evaluation criteria

  • Founders should possess - Coachable, Drive, Integrity, Community-Orientation and Grit
  • Clear Problem Definition - Teams have to provide a clear articulation of the problem or pain situation they are targeting. Potential market opportunity - Teams required to conduct research on potential market numbers of demand for product or service. This will include an explanation on the general market and the initial target (beachhead) market
  • Market-Product Fit - Teams required to state the target market-product fit and clearly articulate the input and data collected from potential customers/buyers and businesses
  • Differentiation of product, service or technology - Teams required to illustrate and explain the differentiated features of their existing product, service or platform vis-à-vis competitor analysis
  • Social impact - Teams required to have a clear theory of change on how their business model delivers sustainability-related social impact
  • Scalability - Teams need to explain strategies to acquire customers and illustrate projections on revenue and profits in graphs and charts
  • Well-thought business model /customer acquisition initiatives - A detailed explanation on the revenue model and the customer acquisition strategy
  • Quality of Founding team - Founders are required to share their domain knowledge and demonstrate a strong understanding of the industry and market. Teams are also required to provide the commitment to their start-up​
The award of the grant is based on SMU IIE’s discretion.