Sona Comstar has partnered with IIT Delhi to support innovative solutions from startups in the EV Ecosystem with the Sona Comstar IIT Delhi Innovation program.

1. The aim of the program

It is felt that innovative mobility solutions can change the way we travel. The need of improvement over existing solutions subsists in various areas including, but not limited to

  • Improvements in EV technologies like extending range through battery capacity improvements, and battery management, fast charging infrastructure, efficient motors, mobile charging solutions for emergencies, etc.
  • Vehicle diagnostic solutions to understand maintenance issues.
  • Autonomous functions in vehicles specially pertaining to safety, and convenience. d) Innovative last mile connectivity solutions.

2 Criteria for eligibility

Concepts/ideas relating to e-mobility, smart mobility, solutions for safe and clean mobility with IP potential and having strong translational/commercial prospects.

  • A product or process innovation with substantial market potential/disruption.
  • Having clear objectives in terms of validating their proof of concept.
  • Projects focused on generating the necessary scientific data needed for derisking i.e., reducing uncertainties in the technology, which in turn will be helpful to demonstrate it to investors/ funding programs for startups

3 Criteria for project leader

The Entrepreneur Project Leader/ Principal investigator / must be an Indian citizen and technically qualified to undertake the project. The Project Leader must have completed postgraduate training in sciences or engineering.

The Entrepreneur is required to formally register a company before or after joining the program if not already a startup. It is expected that the startup formation is completed within 6 months of joining the incubation program, failing which, they may be deemed ineligible for further support.

The applicant needs to provide an undertaking that he/she plans to terminate his association with the current employer and take up the project full time in the event of grant approval. A resignation/ relieving/retirement letter will be needed as supporting documents before the final approval and release of the grant.

4. Criteria for eligible startups

The company should be registered as a Pvt. Ltd. Entity under the Indian Companies Act, 2013. The date of incorporation must be within the past 5 years from the date of application to the program to qualify as a startup for this program. The cash in-flow in terms of funding/grants/revenue from sales or operations should not be exceeding ₹ 2.5 Cr. in any fiscal year since its incorporation. The majority stake (>51%) and control of the startup company should be held by resident Indian citizens.

The major shareholders/ promoters or directors (having >20% stake) should not be directors/promoters of ineligible companies. *This may be waved off only in case of bonafide serial investors

5. Duration for incubation and funding support

The incubation and funding support will be provided over a period of 24 months in determined installments against milestones laid as per the objectives of the project. However, mentorship and networking opportunities will be provided even after the completion of this incubation period.

6. Support provided to startups in this program

6.1 The financial support

a. Financial support up to ₹ 80 Lakhs will be provided as a grant in aid which shall be provided in 4 or more tranches as per the progress made under predetermined milestones decided based on the objectives of the project.

InstallmentReleased at% of total budget
1stSigning the agreements for IncubationMax 30%
2ndCompletion of 1st Milestone~20%
3rdCompletion of 2nd Milestone~20%
4thCompletion of 3rd Milestone~20%
5thSubmission of Final report/exit from the incubator~5%

(the 5th/last tranche will be in form of reimbursement against actual expenditures)

The general guidelines for budget utilization are:
  • separate no-lien account is required to be opened for receiving this funding. This account should not be used for other purposes or funding/revenue streams of the startup.
  • The budget heads allowed under the scheme are
Budget HeadDescription
EquipmentMaximum of 25% of the total project budget can be utilized for acquiring equipment not available at the incubator and not easily outsourceable. The startup will be required to present justifications for the equipment required to complete the project.
Human resourcesA maximum of 30% of the total project cost can be utilized for salaries/hiring of manpower. There will be a cap on the maximum salary and no individual can draw a monthly salary of more than ₹ 50 thousand.
ConsumablesThe applicant can utilize this with flexibility if the items procured can be justified for their utility in the project.
ContingencyA maximum of 7.5% of the total budget, can be utilized for project-related travel within India and miscellaneous bona fide expenses.
OutsourcingMaximum of 30% of the total budget can be used for outsourcing like necessary equipment usage at paid facilities/consultancy work at industries/prototype designing and manufacturing from advanced manufacturing facilities, market research etc.
Patent filingThe applicant can use up to a maximum of 3 lakhs for their IPR filing costs.

6.2 The Incubation support

a. Incubation space and support will be provided per institute norms regarding the engagement and equity terms according to institute guidelines.

6.3 The mentoring support options

  • The Entrepreneurs will get technical advice and mentorship from the Institute’s faculties who can work as scientific advisors with the startups.
  • The review, evaluation and monitoring process will dispense valuable comments and inputs to the startup from the network of experts from IIT Delhi, Industry and other institutions.
  • The FITT will organize periodic events to provide learning, visibility and networking opportunities for the incubatees.
  • Business mentorship programs and workshops will be held by FITT to help startups improve their business plans and market outreach. e. FITT’s IP Cell can assist the incubatees with IP-related services on a need and availability basis. f. The innovators will be connected with FITT’s network of investors/VCs.

7. Application Procedure

a. National call for application once a year.

b. The application template can be downloaded from the FITT website and the duly filled soft copies can be submitted by email to

(The applicants are requested to provide sufficient details within the mentioned word limits under each column to facilitate an informed and fair evaluation /review. Applicants are advised to provide self-contained proposals, with any other relevant supporting materials to be provided as separate attachments.)

c. Proposals submitted will be treated as final and any requests for changes will not be encouraged.

d. Any incidence of incorrect information provided in the application may lead to disqualification of the application.

8. Evaluation process

a. First level selection shall be effected by a technical expert committee having representatives from academia, research and majorly industry The evaluation of the proposal will be based on technical innovation, feasibility; technology readiness level and preliminary technical data etc.

b. In the second round, the shortlisted candidates will be called for the presentation of their techno-commercial plans. The selection committee shall have representation from industry, financial bodies, investors and FITT. The evaluation of proposals will be done based on technical strength, entrepreneurial intent, the strength of IP, team and business plan.

9. Due diligence, project monitoring, and progress reviews

  • FITT will be completing the due diligence process which involves:
    • Reconfirming eligibility
    • Legal, technical and financial due diligence
    • Confirming that the applicant has access to resources and establishments/industry/partners required for project execution.
    • Safety and EHS requirements are met. Receiving applications Eligibility and technical screening Presentation for Techno-Commercial evaluation Due diligence and signing of agreement
    • Budget justifications (usually by providing quotations); meeting budget caps as per program guidelines.
    • Discussing with the innovator and finalizing milestones, and payment schedule.
  • FITT signs agreements with incubatees.
  • Funds were released into the no-lien account created by the grantee for the project.
  • Once the project gets started, FITT periodically monitors progress and reviews the project along with subject matter experts. Incubatees must submit periodic reports and utilization certificates in the prescribed format as asked, to FITT.

10. Submission of final reports and Exit from incubator

  • Successful project completion in terms of project objectives is expected from the startup.
  • b. On completion, the startup will be required to furnish reports mentioning the following details
    • Technical progress against each objective and milestone as laid out during the due diligence process.
    • Details on the final deliverable of the project, and TRL of the product.
    • Progress in terms of commercialization, market readiness of the product, time to reach the market, follow on funding generated etc.
    • Detailed financial reports audited and certified by CA clearly mentioning all expenses under each budget head, bank statements stamped and verified by the bank.
    • The address where the company will be moving after the exit from the incubator.
    • Details on the support required and the plans and projections of the company for the next 3 years.
    • No dues certificate from the incubator.
    • Any other detail as requested by FITT
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