The First Fund™

Funding and Programs


The First Fund™ is a source of funding for companies in need of capital, lab space, and wrap-around support and mentorship. The First Fund provides selected early-stage science startup companies with up to $200,000 in cash, lab space, and support services via a convertible note. Funding is released in six-month tranches based on successful progression of business milestones. 

About the First Fund

The First Fund mission is to make high-quality investments early in a science entrepreneur’s journey, often as the first believer in a company. The First Fund provides science entrepreneurs a mechanism to immediately start critical lab and business development work, accelerate the achievement of important business milestones, and bring their disruptive technologies to the market faster.

The First Fund is designed to help early-stage science startups with compelling business models address validated problems and opportunities in the following areas:

  • Healthcare
  • Advanced materials
  • Therapeutics
  • Diagnostics
  • Nutrition
  • Chemical ingredients
  • Industrial and agricultural biotechnology
  • Renewable energy

Science startup founder received First Fund Investment

Investment Terms

The First Fund program uses a convertible note with the following terms:

  • $200,000 maximum investment per company
  • 20% conversion discount at qualified financing event of $500K or more
  • $5M valuation cap
  • Acquisition Premium 150% of note value + accrued interest
  • 36 Month duration
  • 8% simple interest rate

*The investment amount a startup is eligible for via the First Fund will depend on the requested duration of residency at the Innovation Space. Maximum total investment is $200,000 USD. The First Fund REQUIRES residency at the Innovation Space. Cash will not be released until the startup moves into the Innovation Space and begins operations.

Qualifications and Participation

Applications to the First Fund are reviewed biannually. Founders and teams focused on the growth of their business who will be physically present in the lab space, and make use of our resources, are strongly encouraged to apply.


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