For the 3rd year running, €100,000 allocated to support early stage start-ups and commercialisation of University research
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.
TAKEOFF will be holding a workshop intended for interested applicants on Wednesday 4th May at the TAKEOFF Business Incubator at the University of Malta at 16:30. To register, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for submission of written applications is Monday, May 30 at 12:00 noon, while further details of the timeline for this year’s award and more information on TAKEOFF may be found at www.takeoff.org.mt
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 charges using a variety of methods including the option of a low percentage which can be converted to shares or a fixed fee, once funding is raised.
Photo shows: Dr Ing. Anton Bartolo, Director Corporate Research and Knowledge Transfer, addressing Minister Bartolo, Rector-elect Prof. Vella and Minister Cardona