Getting funding for your startup is no small feat. In this blog, I am going to talk about everything you need to know about raising funds, right from the things you need to keep ready before you reach out to the potential investor to common mistake to avoid.
In this blog, I will walk you through the following,
- Why does your startup need seed funding?
- When is the right time for your startup to raise money?
- How much seed funding should you raise?
- How to prepare for your fund-raising attempt?
- What are the things you should have ready before you approach investors?
- What are the types of funding options you could consider?
- How do you select the right investor or funding option?
- Where can you get in touch with these investors?
- How to build your investor pipeline effectively?
- Why should you use a CRM to track funding the process?
- What are the things to keep in mind while fundraising?
- Common mistakes to avoid while raising seed funds for your startup
- How do you evaluate pre-emptive offers from investors?
- What are the legal aspects of bringing on an investor?
Why does your startup need seed funding?
Not enough capital is one of the main reasons why many startups fail. Start-ups need capital for many reasons like,
- Hiring good quality employees. This is something investors expect of you after you receive funding. Click on the image above to get started/ book a demo with us at Asanify.
- Improve your sales and marketing efforts
- Investors who fund your business can help crack deals with their network
- Funding can help you transform your business and grow into a bigger company, hence letting you do a lot more with your resources
But you need to know why you need the capital. What I mean here is, you need to have a set of proper reasons as to why you need the funds. Is it to pay existing bills or pay back loans? Or so that your startup can enter new markets? or do you have an idea for a new product and need capital to fund it? The latter two questions are more in line with reasons investors would look for while deciding whether to invest in a startup.
You need to know exactly why your start-up needs funding and what you’re going to do with it before you even begin thinking about potential investors.
When is the right time for a startup to raise money?
Investors look to invest in a startup that shows potential (a great idea and team that can pull it off well) and also a certain amount of traction (early adopters of the product or service, meaning a good customer base).
If you already have sufficient finances and money to sustain your business in the early stages, delay funding as much as possible. When you get investors on board, you are signing off a certain amount of control and freedom.
Getting external funding too early on causes unnecessary interference and decreased control over your own company. As an entrepreneur, you want to maintain that control for as long as you can.
When you as a founder are able to get a certain amount of customers to adopt your product at an early stage in your business, it’s pretty impressive. It is also something investors look out for. After you get early adopters, it is imperative that you continue to work on your product and improve your startup. This improvement needs funds as well as employees to make it happen.
When you see the need for more money and are not able to self-finance, that is where investors come into the picture.
How much seed funding should you raise?
Founders look towards external funding to get financial help to reach certain milestones. Either the launch of a new product, entering into new markets, increasing customer base etc. As a founder, you have two options.
The first one, in an ideal scenario, would be to raise enough money in this funding round itself so as to start earning enough profits. If you can make that happen
- You will not really need another round of funding
- Even if you do, it will help gain the next round of investors
The second option is to raise enough to reach the milestone or target you set for yourself and then have another fundraising round after that (that would usually be around 12 to 18 months later).
You need to decide if you want to fit into the first category or second, after considering both, the current growth rate of the company as well as market conditions within your industry.
Come up with different plans for different potential amounts raised
As you begin, you should have a plan for the amount of money you want to raise as well as backup plans if you don’t raise as much as you wished for. This will all take into consideration how fast you can grow and expand.
Calculate how much you need to raise
This is not an easy step. It requires a lot of thought, planning and estimations. You need to decide on how many employees you’d want to hire in the next coming months, how much you plan to pay them, what kind of services you wish to subscribe to etc. and come up with a budget for your startup. When you do this, you could start by calculating everything for a particular month and then multiply it by the estimated number of months you think it will take to reach the particular milestone.
Take into account variables and worst-case scenarios
Not everything always goes according to plan. Very often projects take longer to complete and more money gets spent. This could happen because of errors in planning, estimation or execution. While deciding how much to raise, you need to take into account a buffer amount that will not only allow for small errors but also get you to the next round of funding.
How to prepare for your fund-raising attempt?
It is very easy to find information about the later stages of the investing process all over the internet. But very few people actually talk about how to prepare while you attempt to raise funds. There are a few things you need to keep in mind from the get-go.
Be as professional and prepared as possible
At the early stages, the investors are essentially investing in you and your team rather than the product or service you have to offer. Hence the more professionally you behave, the more likely are they going to want to invest. Don’t rely on the product or service because, in the early stages, they are still developing. The investor will most likely focus on you and your ability to make the most of the investment and make your startup grow.
Also, the more prepared you are the better. In the next section of this blog, I will talk about the things that need to be kept ready. Make sure that all these things are in place right in the beginning before you start reaching out to potential investors.
Here’s what Abhimanyu Bisht, Head of Investments at Venture Catalysts has to say about founders looking for investors.
“For me, the founder’s passion and clarity of thought around the problem they are solving is very important. Also, it’s important to see the market getting addressed. The solution should be disrupting existing players in an established market or should be innovative enough to address a large new market with zero competition”Abhimanyu Bisht, Head – Investments, Venture Catalysts
Know the options available to you
Remember I spoke about knowing the reason behind needing the money? This is where that comes into play. This will help you understand the kind of investors you need to target, the companies etc. You will also be able to decide whether you want to reach out to venture capitalists, angel investors etc. This will all be affected by which stage your company is in at the moment. I have also spoken about all this here in detail in the next sections of this blog.
Have a dedicated person who will focus only on the funding process
Fundraising can be extremely tedious. There are a million things to keep track of and even the smallest error can cost you a quality investor. One way to avoid this is to have an employee or business partner who you trust to run the process for you. Either that or you run the process yourself and ensure that you have another business partner making sure your company doesn’t come to a standstill.
Find at least one person who can introduce you to each investor
You should also add the name of the person who could make an initial introduction for you to the investor (do so for each potential investor). This becomes necessary because investors probably have an inbox full of cold emails. So if they receive an email from someone in their network about you, it puts you ahead of the rest.
Every person you choose for this introduction should credible. Do not use other investors who have yet invested in your startup. This could send a very wrong message across. Instead, you could get people who are currently invested in your company to help. Get people who you can trust, well-wishers, etc.
Another thing to remember while doing this is to review the email or message before they send it out to the investor. Better yet write a template-like email they can forward on your behalf. Either of these should be done to avoid sending the wrong message, either with typos, wrong information about your team or company etc to investors.
Due diligence is basically a review, audit report or investigation done to confirm all the facts or details in any matter. Very often startups put it off for later, but in most cases is a prerequisite to get investors on board. It looks at the company’s structure, finances, assets, liabilities etc. before entering into an agreement with another person. This is something you should definitely get out of the way well in advance.
What are the things you should have ready before you approach investors for funding?
As I said before, being well-prepared right from the beginning makes a huge difference while reaching out to potential investors. You don’t want to reach a point in the fundraising rounds where an investor asks for your financial model or a cap table and you aren’t ready with it. You can’t and shouldn’t wing any part of the entire process. Having this list of things ready from the start will really help showcase professionalism and readiness to the fullest extent.
You will not have to provide each of these things to the potential investors right from the beginning. They will come into play at a different point during the entire process. But it is important to keep them ready.
Know your company and target market inside out
This may seem extremely obvious, but it is easy for a founder to get lost in the fundraising of it all and let details about the business slip through the cracks. Your target market is extremely important. Who is your product going to serve, what are the characteristics of the market and how is your product going to solve their problem. In the words of Dhritiman Hui,
“For me – the single biggest thing is the market. That’s the starting point. If I feel that the startup isn’t addressing a large multi-billion dollar market – whether existing or not – they have lost me. I would argue that that is a truism for most investors”Dhritiman Hui, MD Techstars India and Singapore
A list of potential investors to approach for funding
Many founders have a shortlist of around 5-7 investors they really want. As a result of this, they end up reaching out only to them initially with the hope that they will be able to close the deal on at least 2 of them. But it isn’t really that simple.
Instead, add these 5-7 investors to a much larger list of potentials, and take the whole thing step by step.
You should also focus on the people within firms. Meaning, while you may have specific firms you might want to approach for funding, you should know who the people within those companies are. Get information about the kind of investments they make or the industries or products they are interested in.
Make a rough list either on google sheets or excel and keep track of all this information. Also, add points like why you are reaching out to said investors etc. While this is definitely not the place you keep track of the entire fundraising process, it definitely works well in keeping track of the potential investors you would eventually want to get on board.
Use a CRM to keep track of the entire fundraising process
If you’re someone who is only reaching out to 4-5 investors (which you shouldn’t be doing) you could probably manage on excel. But usually, if you’re keeping track of multiple investors at the same time, it is highly advisable to use a CRM. Any simple CRM that you would normally use to track your sales will work just fine.
An email that can be forwarded
Why you might ask? This is so that you have a basic, almost template like email ready to go. This can then be sent out to your mentors or people in your network who know potential investors. These people can make that initial introduction of you to the investors.
Remember to make this email as forwardable as possible. Meaning, the person who is forwarding it out in their network shouldn’t have to add or edit anything before sending it out.
A starter email
You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you to keep a starter, introductory email ready before you start reaching out to investors. This is because I think being consistent in your outreach is important. Also having a pre-written template like a starter email will let you send out the email as soon as you think it’s the right time, after your mentor or trusted 3rd party has made the introduction for you.
Remember to keep this email as crisp as possible and don’t add too much detail. Be brief about your team and your product.
Make a pitch deck you can email the investors for funding
This should ideally be in the form of a pdf. It should consist of information about your company, about you, about your team etc. But don’t make it too detailed. Make it with the assumption that the potential investor might send it to their network to get understand you or your business better or to get another perspective. So don’t give out too much information there.
You should also send this only when asked for and not directly attach it to the initial email itself.
Make sure you have your financial model ready from the very beginning so that when someone asks for it your not running around trying to do it last minute. Also, make sure it’s as up to date as possible. In your financial model, your budget for your startup, you should be able to explain all the elements potential investors ask you to do so. It helps build your credibility. As I said before, at this stage the investor is investing in you as much as in your business.
Have a cap table ready
A cap table is basically a table summarising the company’s securities, stocks etc and who owns them. Goes without saying, it is important to have a complete cap table systematically organized to show your investors.
Make sure your data room is ready to go
A data room in lay man’s terms is basically a collection of all the data that has been mentioned so far, right from the pitch deck to the financial model to the cap table. This also works as a good space to add any industry updates you think the investor should know about. You could use google drive or dropbox for this. But be sure to allow only viewing rights. You don’t want outsiders trying to make changes to your company’s details. Make sure the documents here are all up to date at all times.
What are the types of funding options you could consider?
There are many types of funding options for any startup founder to consider. They are…
This basically means self-funding your startup. This might be an option to consider if you are a first-time founder and your business is very new. Because very often investors look for startups that are able to gain traction or kick start your business in some way.
This is especially an option if you just need a little fud to kickstart the company and generate some kind of traction which would eventually show investors you have potential.
Seed funding is the first stage of official funding for any startup. The amount invested in a seed round is usually low especially because it becomes difficult for a founder to convince the investors of the potential in the business. This becomes difficult when there is no real traction.
Crowd-funding involves getting funding from multiple investors simultaneously. This shows that your business has gained the trust and confidence of many people within the industry.
When investors invest in a particular company, they tend to help build the brand name for that startup. This is because at the end of the day they also want the startup to grow right? This partially helps with marketing (branding) apart from the financing.
So when you get multiple investors, all of them work towards bettering your brand. This is one of the reasons crowdfunding is gaining more and more attention these days
Consider angel investors for funding
Who are angel investors? They are investors who are constantly on the lookout for startups that display immense potential. They usually have surplus capital and often provide sound business advice or mentoring along with just the capital for the business.
Venture capitalists are also known as VCs manage funds professionally. They usually invest in businesses that display huge potential both in terms of the employees and the business plan. They usually invest after the initial startup phase is over, when the company has already started gaining traction.
VCs also often offer strategic advice, mentoring help and provide insights on the company’s growth trajectory. However, you as a founder need to be comfortable giving up control and be as flexible as possible while dealing with VCs. If that isn’t something you are comfortable with, then venture capitalists aren’t for you.
Business incubators or accelerators as a funding option
Business incubators or even accelerators usually fund around 100s of startups a year. The key difference between the two is that incubators nurture and mentor businesses and founders while accelerators help scale their businesses. These programs usually run for a few months and require tremendous commitment from the founders.
Opportunities like these will also help you build a strong network not just with other startups that are in the program, but also with mentors and investors who have a lot of experience in the field.
Funding your business by winning contests
There are a ton of business competitions out there that can help you fund your startup. I have added a few to the list where I talk about where you can get in touch with investors.
Bank loans are probably the most commonly used method to raise money to run a business. This would also include the regular data and documents mentioned above to have ready while getting the loan.
The government of India has taken a lot of initiative to promote small businesses in the country. For example, The Startup India Seed Fund of Rs 1000 Cr has been operational since the 1st of April 2021. This is just one such example of the Start-up India initiative by the Indian Government.
How do you select the right investor or funding option?
When you decide to start raising funds for your small business you need to keep in mind that while looking for funding, you need to look for the right person. Looking for cash may not give you the best results, but looking for the right person who can invest the cash always provides better results. You also need to realise at what stage you are in your business and the fundraising before making this choice.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while choosing investors
Know whom to target
Earlier I spoke about making a detailed list of potential investors who you could target. This needs to be done after great research. We have already discussed the different options available to you. But now you need to focus on how each of these options affects your company. Create a broad profile of the kind of investor you want to target. Look at the industry that each investor works in, what is the average cheque they write, which are the other startups they are invested in etc.
Read up as much as possible about them from their website, portfolios or any other sources you can find. Also, try getting in touch with mutual connections who can not only help you get information but also eventually help you get in touch with the investors themselves.
Take a look at each investor and note down why each of them matters individually
When you target multiple investors, it can become easy to lose track of why you want them to fund your company. But that could be a major part of your conversion to get to fund your company. So, while making a list of investors, also make a note (in 2-3 lines) as to why you specifically want them on board.
While choosing investors, this exercise will also help you ensure that the investors’ goals align with that of yours and your company’s.
Where can you get in touch with the investors?
There are many ways and websites through which you get in touch with specific investors. Right from finding angel investors to VCs to business competitions for funding, just by googling, you will get a plethora of information regarding this. I have listed a few of these sources below
- Techstars Accelerator program (We- Asanify are a Techstars portfolio company)
- Y combinator
- Venture catalysts
- Sequoia Surge
- Angel investment network
- Nasscom’s startup events and competitions
- Let’s Venture
- Mumbai Angel’s Network
- Hyderabad Angels- Value beyond capital
- List of individual angel investors
- Amity innovation incubator
- IAN incubator
- Next big idea contest
How to effectively build your investor pipeline
You need to keep the following points in mind and in a google sheet while building your investor pipeline. Add all the following data to be as detailed as possible,
- Get an introduction to at least 25 to 30 investors. Yes! I’ll say that again, at least 25 to 30. Very few people manage to close the deal with the first 5-7 investors they meet. If you are one of them, then that’s amazing. But usually, you will have to reach out to many many people.
- Make an excel sheet or google doc and add all information related to the potential investors.
- Add other details like how high on your list of priorities do they fit in, who is going to introduce you to them, name of the fund, investors company, contact info etc.
- Research the average donation or cheque size and add that to the excel sheet.
- Share this document with a friend, confidant or mentor. Someone you trust with your business and life. They should be a person who can guide you or give inputs about the investors, ensure that you’re on the right track or help if possible.
- As mentioned previously, work out why you want each specific investor and add it to the document.
- You could also get someone else to do a follow up for you. Meaning, you get a mentor or mutual connection to make an introduction, but you could also get a 3rd party (again another mentor, mutual connection or someone you trust) to do follow up for you. Something as simple as “Hey I heard you’re talking to XYZ founder about maybe funding ABC company, I too have been in touch with them and think their work is really amazing.” This helps remind the investor that you’re out there!
Why should you track the entire funding process using a CRM?
Keeping track of 20, 40 or 60 potential investors is definitely not something you can manage manually. Each deal will move at a different speed, and each investor will have separate needs and requirements to be fulfilled. So where do you find a software that helps you manage all this seamlessly?
A lot of people will suggest using either google sheets or excel, but it’s just not the same. A regular CRM will help. It may sound weird to track a funding process with a CRM. But trust me it’s the most effective and efficient way to do it. As a startup, you may or may not already be using a CRM to track your sales. If you do, using the same one to track your funding will work just fine. If you don’t already use one, now is the time to research, find a good one and integrate it with your business and funding process.
The full form of CRM is customer relationship management. Using this will allow you to systematically track the different potentials investors and at what stage each of them is at.
Say, for example, one investor is almost ready to close the deal but wants to meet with your business partner before doing so, another wants to have a look at your financial statements while another wants to see your office space. At the same time, another one is almost ready to transfer the money into your account. Using a CRM will help keep track of each of them at different stages.
What are the things to keep in mind while fundraising?
There are a lot of things you need to keep in mind throughout the process. These may not seem like they’re important, but they can make a world of a difference in your funding process
Be aware of how much information you give out
When you send information about your company to investors, there’s a good chance they send it to their network to get feedback. They will probably consult with others before getting back to you. You should therefore assume that whatever data you send them is going to find its way around the industry. Hence, you shouldn’t be giving out entire business or financial models of your company for no reason, especially in the initial rounds of fundraising, when you have no idea who is going to say yes or no
Never end any meeting leaving things ambiguous
What I mean here is, when any meeting ends, make sure you have decided upon the next step. Always push to close the deal and get the funding, but never leave not knowing what’s going to happen next. If nothing else, at least plan the date and time for the next meeting.
The same needs to be done when sending out emails. Try to add a CTA i.e. a call to action button or statement to all the emails that you send out. Add something like let’s get on a call tomorrow to discuss further or something to that effect.
Don’t get greedy with the money
When setting a value for your company or asking for money, don’t get greedy and quote a very high amount. People often think that if they set a high amount the investors will believe that your company is extremely valuable and has super high potential. But that’s just not true! The market price and industry will determine the worth of your company.
While looking for funding, remember that investors decide where to invest the same way a general customer browses through a store. You don’t always know every single minute detail about the brand but you would probably buy the product anyway. In this case, a price higher than the market price might discourage you from buying a product. The same goes for investors as well.
Always try to get more leads
Throughout the fundraising process, you need to try and get more leads on investors you can approach. You may think that you are moving towards closing a particular deal, but no deal is completely closed until the money is in the bank. So, throughout the process be on the lookout for potential investors.
Strike the right balance between confidence and humility
While talking to investors you need to be able to be confident yet humble. You cannot come across as a know-it-all who is too arrogant to take corrections or advice. You should definitely be able to answer any questions the investor may have confidently.
Keep bettering your startup
Throughout the fundraising process, you need to keep on working on your company. If you are focusing on the funding process, then have a business partner oversee the growth of the company. No investor is going to be interested in a stagnant company. Make a list of good KPIs that you can use to keep track of the growth of your business. Visit our blog ‘120+ KPIs every founder must consider for faster growth‘ to know more.
Moreover, if you stop growing because you are focusing on getting capital, you will lose out on that much time, business and potentially investors as well. This is what the founder and CEO of Dara and former founder of Babajobs has to say about fundraising.
Remember every dollar of your fundraise raises the expectations on you and often the timeline on your company to achieve scalable product market fit. Always focus on building the business and it’s fundamental logic as a profitable business.Sean Blagsvedt, CEO at Dara, Ex-Founder & CEO of Babajobs, Raised $10 million before selling company to Quikr
Don’t take rejection personally
Very often we come across founders who get completely dejected when an investor doesn’t agree to fund their startup. They end up taking it personally and let it affect their morale and work. You need to remember that rejection is a sad yet big part of fundraising. These are places where you learn from the process and better your outreach for the next investor you speak to.
Assume investors are saying no until they explicitly say yes
By this, I don’t mean assume the worst. I mean, don’t take investors for granted or assume that because the first meeting went well, the money is going to end up in your bank account. Ever so often founders get excited and raise their hopes after the first couple of meetings. This leads them to take the other investors lightly.
This is one of those spaces where people experience FOMO (fear of missing out) as well as buyers remorse immediately one after the other. An investor may lean into closing the deal, but then realise that this isn’t the startup they want to spend money on. So, if you get a positive feeling after a meeting, give it time. Focus on the other investors as well and don’t assume you’re getting the money.
Common mistakes to avoid while raising seed funds for your startup
There are certain mistakes a lot of founders make while reaching out to investors or during meetings. Some of them end up ruining any chance of deal you could get. These mistakes are easily avoidable and can make a world of a difference in how you are perceived by potential investors. So keep these points in mind.
While reading this next part of the blog it may sound obvious, but a lot of businesspeople forget about it. So here are some of the most common and avoidable mistakes.
Not conducting a thorough research
Research can be tedious. But trust me, if you start reaching out to investors without getting all the possible information about them you can, you end up wasting a whole lot of time.
Imagine receiving a cold email from someone, but the email is addressed to someone else. Or the industry mentioned is totally wrong. That could immediately turn off any investor. Not just that, but it also makes you seem extremely unprofessional and unprepared. That is something you definitely cannot be in front of anyone from whom you’re going to ask for money.
So speak to as many people as possible to find as much as possible about the investors before beginning.
Failing to reach out for professional help
Especially if you are someone who has never raised money for your business before, you might want to get in touch with a mentor or the founder of another startup. Getting advice will set you on the right path and help you avoid errors that would otherwise cause you to lose time and effort.
Even if you are someone who is somewhat experienced at fundraising, get professional help! The investors have way more experience than you do and you can’t afford to come across as unprepared.
Overcomplicating the pitch
Very often people forget that investors are not industry professionals. They absolutely do not know as much as you do about your product or the industry. If you over-complicate the pitch with too much jargon or unnecessary facts and stats about the industry, they might just lose interest.
Instead, use simple everyday language that you would use while talking to a friend. You could probably show your pitch to a friend who isn’t from the same industry and see if they understand what the product is all about.
When you sit for a meeting with an investor, never go back and forth with what you want. Always be sure of every single detail of your business and plan. If you don’t know the answer to something or if the investor needs an estimate of something, don’t bluff or try to guess.
You don’t need to make any decisions in a hurry. If you don’t know something it’s okay to go tell them you’ll get back to them at a later date. That is a much better alternative as compared to saying something and then realising you need something else.
How do you evaluate pre-emptive offers from investors?
What I mean by this is, very often when you aren’t actively raising funds you might get a one-off investor coming to you saying they want to put money in your startup. How do you deal with such situations? Or maybe you have just started reaching out to investors and someone comes to you wanting to close a deal! How do you deal with such scenarios? They’re rare but they happen nonetheless. These are the things to consider.
If your answer to the questions below is yes, then go for it, close that deal!
How willing are you to drop everything to finish the round?
This means that maybe you started out needing to raise 20 lakhs and this particular person is willing to invest Rs 500,000/- are you willing to immediately stop everything else to focus on raising the funds and get other investors to raise Rs 15 lakhs more? That is something you need to decide
Is this someone you would have proactively approached?
When someone invests in your business, their goals need to be aligned with yours. Is this person, their input (both monetary as well as advice) valuable to you at this point?
Is this investor someone you’d be willing to work with for the next 5-7 years
When investors come on board you end up working with them for years sometimes. You need to consider if this person who has approached you is a person you can work with for that long. They are going to be very influential people in your startup.
What are the legal aspects of bringing on an investor?
A shareholder’s agreement should be drawn up with the help of your lawyer. A shareholders agreement includes all the details about the rights that the investor will have, right from management, share transfer restrictions to exit rights of the investor. Here are a few other things that need to be taken into consideration
- Registration or incorporation of the company
- Sign an NDA and make the investor sign it as well
- Dure diligence (as mentioned at the beginning of this blog here)
- Dissolution or exit strategy (for in a worst-case scenario, where the company is dissolved)
All in all, getting funding for your startup is not easy. It is an extremely long-drawn process. You need to be able to do everything correctly to ensure that investors trust you with their money. I hope this blog has given you a detailed overview of everything there is to know about, right from when and how much to raise to things that need to be done before reaching out to investors. Make sure you go through the blog well so as to understand everything that needs to be done while looking for investors.
There are different options you could consider while getting funding. The choice between these options would vary based on the stage of the company, customer base etc.
1. Self-funding or bootstrapping
3. Angel investors
4. Startup business contests
5. Venture capitalists (VCs)
6. Business incubators or accelerators
7. Bank loans
8. Government schemes and initiatives
In most cases, investors require a certain amount of traction before they agree to come on board unless your idea is absolutely brilliant or shows great potential. If you have no money but a great idea and ambition, try speaking to friends and family who could invest in your startup. Because they are your well-wishers, they will be able to do so because of their faith in you and without a very high-interest rate.
Also consider beginning with consulting, in the same industry, so that you can gain a little profit and use that profit to fund your startup
Any company that has been registered or incorporated for less than 7 years and 10 years in the biotechnology industry with an annual turnover of less than Rs25 Cr (in any preceding year) is eligible to apply.