The Ministry for The Economy, Investment and Small Business and the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Business Incubation (CEBI) of the University of Malta TAKEOFF, have launched the 2015 TAKEOFF Seed Fund Award (TOSFA) at the TAKEOFF Business Incubator. Through the award, the sum of €100,000 in seed funding will be allocated to groups of innovators and entrepreneurs. This will help them move their promising ideas forward toward commercialization and creation of high-growth businesses in Malta.
The announcement was made at a ceremony attended by Economy Minister Chris Cardona, University rector Juanito Camilleri, and Director of CEBI, Ing. Saviour Zammit.
The 2015 edition of TOSFA follows the successful launch of the award last year, during which thirty applications were received and twelve shortlisted teams pitched their ideas to the TOSFA Adjudication Committee. Nine teams received funding ranging from €5,000 to €18,000. Previous winners, InboundMuse, went on to raise another €20,000 through the MCA TAKEOFF Award and will be launching their first product in the coming months. DiscountIf, who also received funds through last year’s round, have raised almost €300,000 in investment and have reached revenue stage, offering their product in the UK. Mighty Box Ltd, another TOSFA recipient, has raised over $350,000 in crowdfunding to date.
The TAKEOFF Seed Fund Award 2015 will fund two types of initiatives. University of Malta academic staff may apply for ‘proof of concept’ funds which will enable a step-change in taking an innovation developed through research at the University closer to being commercialised, whereas entrepreneurs may apply for ‘seed funding’ which will enable a step-change in taking their independent technology or knowledge-based start-up closer to the first customer or investment. Award winners will work closely with the University Knowledge Transfer Office and the TAKEOFF team to advance their technology commercialisation and start-up business development plans. The deadline for Written Applications Submission is Thursday, May 28 at 12:00 noon.
The TAKEOFF business incubator at the University of Malta, helps technology and knowledge-based start-ups transform their ideas into investor-ready and market-ready businesses. The team of industry veterans nurtures entrepreneurs through executing market research and protecting their idea, helps with business plan development and pitching to investors, as well as packaging the idea to target prospective users and customers, locally and internationally. Incubatees become members of TAKEOFF and benefit from low rates for co-working space and access to a network of mentors etc. TAKEOFF offers a variety of methods for equity including the option of a low percentage which can be converted to shares or a fixed fee, once funding is raised.