The Ministry for The Economy, Investment and Small Business (MEIB) and the University of Malta have launched the 2016 edition of the TAKEOFF Seed Fund Award (TOSFA) at the University’s TAKEOFF Business Incubator. The sum of €100,000 will be allocated through the Award to entrepreneurs and researchers to help move their innovative ideas and technologies a step closer towards commercial products and services.
The announcement was made at a ceremony on 27 April attended by the Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business, the Hon. Christian Cardona, the Minister for Education and Employment, the Hon. Evarist Bartolo, and Rector-elect, Prof. Alfred J. Vella.
As in previous editions, TOSFA 2016 will fund two types of initiatives. Entrepreneurs will apply for Seed Funds which will enable a step-change in taking their independent technology or knowledge-based start-up closer to the first customer or investment. University of Malta academic staff will 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. 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.
Go Beyond Biz will also be offering TOSFA applicants with the chance to win an award for the project with the most cross border potential. The winning team will benefit from consultation hours with social media and digital advertising serial entrepreneur, Mathieu Fivaz.
The 2016 TOSFA aims to build on the successes of the previous editions, the latest of which attracted 50 applications and resulted in eight awards ranging from €6,000 to €20,000. Past TOSFA winners have gone on to achieve various successes: Thought3D won the Technology category of the Malta Innovation Award thanks to their product, Magigoo; Bum-a-Lift’s lift-sharing app is now up and running in 6 schools and is on track to increase their portfolio in the coming weeks; and DiscountIF have gone on to raise a further £202,642 through a successful crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs. Amongst the Proof of Concept beneficiaries, the group working on a Flight Optimisation Tool are on track to start in-flight trials of their software, whereas the group behind the Micro-CHP is finalising an advanced prototype to demonstrate the technology.