Deshpande Startups, NIDHI Prayas
Deshpande Startups, NIDHI Prayas sectors


"Prototyping is a key milestone for any innovator in their journey of building a startup"

To make prototyping easy and affordable for innovators with limited or no financial backing, we provide incubation & prototype funding support to enable the faster translation of an innovative idea into a prototype utilizing emerging technology, knowledge and innovation, particularly for startups.

A NIDHI-PRomotion and Acceleration of Young and Aspiring technology entrepreneur (NIDHI-PRAYAS) - Support from Idea to Prototype is the scheme under NIDHI aimed at addressing the gap in the very early stage of an idea or proof-of-concept funding. Deshpande Startups has been one of the approved NIDHI-PRAYAS centres by DST, Govt of India, since March 2020.

We invite students, graduates, professionals, and startups with innovative ideas to apply for a prototyping grant under the NIDHI PRAYAS, an umbrella program of the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, for nurturing ideas and innovations in the domains of knowledge-based and technology-driven into successful startups.

Supported by

GOI, Deshpande Startups
DST, Deshpande Startups
Nidhi Prayas, Deshpande Startups

Objectives of NIDHI-PRAYAS:

  • To enable translation of an innovative idea to a prototype
  • To support faster experimentation and the idea-to-market journey
  • To generate innovative solutions relevant to the local and global problems
  • To attract a large number of youth who demonstrates problem solving zeal and abilities
  • To work on their new technology, knowledge and innovation based startups
  • To build a vibrant innovation ecosystem, by establishing a network between innovators, academia, mentors and incubators


NIDHI Prayas partners, Deshpande Startups

Unique Offerings

NIDHI Prayas offerings, Deshpande Startups

Frequently Asked Questions

Applicants can be individual innovators or early-stage startups.

  • An individual innovator without having a startup or founder of a startup can apply. In such a case,
    • The applicant must be an Indian Citizen with government-approved proof of nationality with a minimum of 18 years of age, as on the date of application.
    • If the applicant works in a team with other innovators, there must be an agreement among the team about the lead innovator who would apply,
    • All fund transfers will be to the lead innovator’s account post-selection.
    • IP generated would vest with the innovator or the team as per the agreement.

  • In the case of an applicant being a co-founder of a Startup,
    • The applicant must be an Indian citizen with government-approved proof of nationality with a minimum of 18 years of age, as on the date of application.
    • The startup should be incorporated in India with a minimum of 51% of its equity held by Indian citizens. The startup should not exceed 7 years of existence from the incorporation date.
    • The startup should not have received support from any government-funded agency.
    • The startup turnover should be less than Rs. 25 lakhs for any of the financial years since its inception.
    • IP generated is agreeable to be vested with the startup.

  • All selected/approved applicants will have to agree to incubate under respective programs of Deshpande Startups as per its policy/terms for a period of 12 - 14 months.

It is a support given to develop the hardware prototype for your startup idea. The NIDHI PRAYAS grant is a proof-of-concept grant for converting an idea into a prototype. The ideas should be technology-driven.

The program is for a period of 12-14 months, and the prototype must be capable of being completed within a maximum period of 18 months.

Preference may be given to the innovators

  • Having bootstrapped or have co-investment commitments having clear roadmap for commercialization or startup creation
  • Women innovators or Young innovators
  • Additional terms for innovators in employment OR Students with any R&D organization OR Academic Institution
  • Idea or Innovations should have a roadmap towards commercialization.
  • Screening of applications will usually take 2-4 weeks, from the date of closure of online applications
  • The screening committee's decision for approval and funding support will be final, firm, and binding.

The innovators in employment or pursuing students must seek the NOC from their organization or institution. The NOC should include:

  • Permission to participate in the program and extend sufficient time to work on the startup idea.
  • The consent that IP generated would vest with the innovator.
  • Innovators or startups who do not or will not own the project Intellectual Property (IP)
  • Funding research student, or internship in academic institution or R&D organization
  • Innovators, teams or startups who are already supported once under NIDHI PRAYAS
  • Innovators who do not have the necessary NOC on IP, granting sufficient time to work on PRAYAS project from their respective organization, institution or College
  • Innovator supported under NIDHI-EIR in parallel with NIDHI-PRAYAS
  • Innovators who do not have a roadmap or will towards commercialization
  • Ideas purely relating to Software or App development

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