Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of startup companies are encouraged to register?

Companies focused primarily on making electronics products in IoT, robotics or wearables. Those that are in pure software or services are not eligible.

How does one apply? What is the process?

Go to the website and there’s a form for registration. Please fill out the form as completely as possible. Maker Village staff will go through the application and will shortlist candidates for next steps. Those shortlisted will be contacted by Maker Village and asked to prepare presentations according to a standard template. The companies will then be asked to present them to an Expert Committee, which meets monthly. This committee decides on the next steps.

How soon after I apply will I hear from you?

That depends on how many are in the pipeline ahead of you. On average, you can expect to hear from us within 1-2 months if you are shortlisted. If you are not shortlisted, you will not hear from us.

What criteria do you use to shortlist?

Whether it meets Maker Village’s objectives (electronics products), the quality and completeness of the team, the likelihood that the idea will get funded by seed/angel and other investors, the extent to which its viability and market demand are articulated in the application, the ability of the team to distributed the product to customers, prior entrepreneurial experience (if any) of the founders, among others. All of these are standard criteria used by incubators and accelerators anywhere.

What happens if I don’t hear from you for several months?

It could mean that we didn’t shortlist you, or it could mean that we have had a large number of registrations ahead of you. In either case, it is not necessary for you to contact us. Please await contact from Maker Village

What happens if I get a call from you?

You should then prepare the presentation according to the template that we will share with you. We might critique it and ask you to improve it. Once we are satisfied that all the information is available, we will invite you to one of the following: Trivandrum, Cochin or Calicut to present in person to the Expert Committee. Alternatively, a web-based presentation (eg. Skype) can also be arranged. You will get 10 minutes.

After the Expert Committee presentation is over, we will inform you whether you were a) chosen for pre-incubation, b) chosen for incubation, c) asked to clarify or modify your presentation and come back again, or d) not selected.

What is pre-incubation? Incubation?

These terms are defined on our web page

Pre-incubation is a 3-month process for companies that are at the ideation stage, and is intended to get them to a stage where they fulfil three criteria: the have

       1. A business plan

       2. A physical proof of concept

       3. Some market feedback

At the end of the 3 months, there is a further evaluation by the Expert Committee to check If you have met the criteria to move to Incubation

Incubation is an 18-month (maximum) process for companies that have already successfully fulfilled the exit criteria for pre-incubation. Here they are supported in going from proof of concept to working prototype

Is there any fee for these phases?

Yes, there is a fee to cover overhead costs such as utilities and other operating costs

During pre-incubation, there is a Rs. 2000 monthly rental per person, plus taxes

During incubation, there is a Rs. 3000 monthly rental per person, plus taxes

Can I get a fee waiver or a reduction in fee?

No, everybody pays the same fee

What do I get for my payment?

You get access to the equipment in the facility, and access to the technical subject matter experts, business mentors, potential investors, as well as Maker Village staff who can advise you on both technical and business matters and help you draw up your technical architecture as well as business plans.

In the incubation phase, you will be eligible to apply for seed funding (Rs. 2 lakhs in the first round and up to Rs. 40 lakhs in second round). If you meet DeiTY criteria, the funding will be provided, but it is not guaranteed. It depends on the investors’ and experts’ evaluation.

There are a number of government funds (eg. DeitY has its own fund) which you become eligible to apply to. We can help you with introductions and guidance on dealing with investors.

You will have access to a list of partners, who can provide you services such as PR, intellectual property rights assessment, consulting in finance, and so on.

The physical equipment is substantial. In addition to Test and Measurement equipment as well as Do It Yourself labs using the latest open source boards, and 3D printing machines, we have ordered an industrial strength Printed Circuit Board assembly machine, which can turn out hundreds of units of your PCB for your market-seeding purposes.

What additional costs will I have to bear?

For all consumables and out of pocket expenses (eg. Resin for 3D printing) the company will have to pay up front.

How do I get access to the equipment?

There is an online machine reservation system (currently under development)

I have a prototype already. Can you help me go to market?

That’s great. Our goal is to help incubatees build prototypes in volume so that they can test the market. However, we will not be able to directly take you to market because we do not have the ability to do industrial design, IPR, certification, distribution and so forth. We have industry partners who have these capabilities. We can help to tie you up with these partners, assuming there is a natural fit.

Do you take any equity?

Yes, in the incubation phase, we take an equity of roughly 0.11% of your shares per month. The intent is that the government/DeitY should benefit from your success.

In addition, if there is seed or other funding provided by DeitY or other government agencies, or by private parties, they will take an equity stake in the company based on the valuation from the first private investment.

What if I get an external investment and wish to exit?

We will be sorry to see you go, but will understand that you don’t need our support any more. There is a contract that lays out the mutual obligations of Maker Village and yourselves. The contract allows for exits.

Can I get a sample of the contract?

Since it is a confidential document, we cannot freely make it available to you. Once you are selected, we will fill out the contract appropriately for you