How does the PRIME Student Tinkering Fund work?
Only students from academic institutes that are being financially supported through PRIME and the EPDP – Entrepreneurship Promotion and Development Programmes will be eligible to apply for the funding.
For the institutes to become eligible, they will have to have received a sanction letter from PRIME/MBMA and the inauguration of the EPDP would have to be completed through an official program. Further, the MoU will have to be signed. Once these conditions are fulfilled, the institutes automatically become eligible to have their students apply for the PRIME Student Tinkering Fund.
Students intending to apply for the PRIME Student Tinkering Fund must be regularly enrolled in the respective academic institute in the state of Meghalaya.
Individual students being part of a group of students working on the same project/product/service may not apply multiple times for different projects. They may only apply once for a specific project.
The maximum project duration shall be 6 months respectively one academic semester whatever is longer. Funds that have not been utilized within this timeframe have to be returned to PRIME.
Application, Selection, Reporting and Follow-up Process:
The full application and part of the selection process will be implemented by the academic institutes based on the process outlined herewith.
|Step 1||Prepare Application and give Inputs on how to improve (e.g. through E-Cell)||Academic Institute|
|Step 2||Institute’s Pre-Screening Committee analyses applications and selects promising/complete applications to be forwarded to PRIME||Academic Institute|
|Step 3||Submit pre-selected Applications through Online Portal/Form provided by PRIME||Academic Institute|
|Step 4||Forwarded applications will be screened and scored by the PRIME Selection Committee||PRIME|
|Step 5||Sanctioning of Funds to selected applications / Feedback to rejected applications||PRIME|
|Step 6||Ongoing support of the funded ideas/projects||Academic Institute|
|Step 7||Reporting and Followup on graduated ideas/projects, possibly route towards PRIME Pre-Incubation program||Academic Institute|
The institutes are to help prepare the student/student teams with their applications through a process defined by them internally (e.g. mentors/E-Cell).
They are to pre-select the most promising ideas/projects/applications that have the potential to turn into commercial/marketable solutions through a to be constituted Pre-Screening Committee internally in the institutes. Those committees cannot contain members of PRIME/MBMA and has to contain at least 5 members which are namely:
- Head of Department/Dean/Principal/Director (Chair)
- SPOC/Responsible/In-Charge of EPDP
- 2* Student Members/Student In-Charge of E-Cell
- Alumni of Institute (possibly entrepreneur)
The committee shall define and constitute their own criteria for evaluation/selection of applications, but shall consult with PRIME before enacting the same. While developing the pre-selection criteria, it is suggested to specifically focus on team capability, technical feasibility, business feasibility and potential market/customer need/demand for the proposed idea/product/service/solution. It is also suggested that the Pre-Screening Committee asks the students to pitch/present their endeavor in front of the panel. The meetings of the Pre-Screening Committee shall be documented as Minutes-of-Meeting and shall be made available to PRIME on request.
The application form that shall be submitted by the Pre-Screening Committee will be provided by PRIME in a digital format to the institutes (e.g. in form of a Google Spreadsheet/Form or through the PRIME Entrepreneur Portal). The application form will contain the following information and may be extended at a later point in time at the discretion of PRIME to capture more/different information:
- Details about applicant/team
- Details about problem/market need to be solved
- Details about proposed solution
- Details about funds required (to be given as estimates in line items – no quotations/definitive figures required)
- Details about timeline of R&D/project execution
- Details about expected outcome (e.g. fully functional prototype)
- Details about expected way ahead
- Sketch/Picture/Drawing/Screenshot/Wireframe/Process Flow etc of Proposed Product/Service/Solution in PDF/JPG/PNG Format
A total of 6 funding cycles will be conducted every year. Institutes shall collect applications received, evaluate them and shall hand them in on the following dates that have been constituted. The applications are subsequently screened, scored and approved/rejected by the PRIME Selection Committee.
|#||Cutoff Date for Handing in Application Batches*|
|Funding Cycle 1||30th September|
|Funding Cycle 2||30th November|
|Funding Cycle 3||31st January|
|Funding Cycle 4||31st March|
|Funding Cycle 5||31st May|
|Funding Cycle 6||31st July|
|*Depending on experience and number of applications received these dates or the number of cycles may be adjusted at the discretion of PRIME and additional cycles may be added or cycles may be removed.|
After receipt of the applications by PRIME, the PRIME Selection Committee shall be called upon for making a final decision on whether to select or reject an application.
A scorecard based on several criteria (e.g. team/individual strength, technical feasibility, expected market need etc.) will be instituted. A maximum of 100 points can be awarded. If the application reaches 51 points or more on average across all committee members, the application is approved.
Applicants that have been rejected may modify their applications based on the feedback of PRIME and may hand in their applications again via the institutes.
After approval and disbursal of funds, the responsibility to provide ongoing support to the selected applications, lies with the institutes. They shall install support mechanisms to ensure the successful implementation of the project as per the application within the outlined duration of the project and shall ensure regular review meetings.
On demand, a short intermittent report on the project progress in the form of a short powerpoint presentation (template to be provided by PRIME) shall be submitted to PRIME after half of the proposed project duration has lapsed.
Mandatorily, a final report on the actual project outcomes (template to be provided by PRIME) has to be provided within 2 weeks of project completion (i.e. the end of the proposed project duration). In case such a project report is not furnished within the stipulated time frame, the funds have to be returned in full with applicable interest to PRIME.
PRIME also has the right to call upon the student teams to present their progress and project details in general during events or other public engagements. TA will be provided for such cases, wherever required.
Students that have developed promising products or services shall be recommended to PRIME for further support at the end of the project duration.
Entrepreneurs that can show exceptional progress and a promising and validated idea/concept/prototype/MVP that they have created with the first tranche of funding, may apply for a second tranche of funding of an additional Rs. 25,000. This second tranche is only available if clear progress in the project is visible.
This second tranche can be applied for during any point in time in the project duration but latest on the day when the maximum project duration, as stated earlier, has been lapsed.
In case the students/student groups decide to apply for a second tranche, they will have to submit an interim report (or a final report in case the second tranche is applied for at the end of the maximum project duration) together with the application for the second tranche.
The application and selection procedure for second tranches will be identical to the first tranche selection and processing with the exception that the student/student groups will have to clearly show the progress they have made.
Disbursal of the second tranche will add another 3 months to the maximum project duration, whereafter a final report has to be generated and submitted to PRIME.
Common tangible assets like mobile phones, screens, laptops, furniture shall only be funded if they are a crucial part of the product development/tinkering and can not be (temporarily) obtained or borrowed through other modes for the purpose of product development or they would have to be modified and altered in a permanent manner so in order to serve the product development.
Salaries or any other time-based remuneration to students and student teams are not allowed and can not be considered for funding.
The final decision on feasibility/fundability of individual expenses lies with the PRIME Selection Committee. The Committee also has the right to request modifications to the funding proposals if found non-feasible/unnecessary.
Mode of Disbursal:
A MoU will be signed between the students/student groups and PRIME prior to disbursal of the funds.
The funds will be disbursed in one tranche directly to the personal bank account of the student respectively to the representative of a student group. A bank account is mandatory for disbursal and an acknowledgement slip is to be signed and to be sent to PRIME for documentation within 7 days of disbursal.
Publications & Promotion
The institutes are to provide promotion material about the funded students (visuals, clips, other information) to PRIME on demand.
They are also obligated to prominently publish and promote students who have received the PRIME Tinkering Fund via their Social Media (if applicable) and other media channels (e.g. newsletters) available to them.
They are to prominently highlight the purpose of PRIME and the Tinkering Fund. Promotions should also happen in the form of interviews etc.
All official communications, in line with the EPDP guidelines, are to carry the “In partnership with PRIME Meghalaya” logo. For all communications on Social Media the respective official handle of PRIME Meghalaya has to be tagged.