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IndianOil Startup Fund

Indian Oil Startup Fund

Indian Oil Startup Fund

The Indian Oil Corporation Limited has always focussed on innovative technology and ideas. They believe that innovation in any sector is the key to unlock success. Today, this faith has made them the country’s market leader in the oil and gas sector. Indian Oil has established the Indian Oil Startup Fund intending to promote promising startups and to support innovative projects that would incorporate technological innovations and business process re-engineering ideas. However, to earn the benefits of the Fund, the applicants will have to get selected through the scheme called the Indian Oil Open Innovation Challenge. This article talks about the startup fund and the scheme in detail.

Indian Oil Open Innovation Challenge

The Indian Oil Open Innovation Challenge would be organised and driven by the Indian Oil’s Research and Development Centre in Faridabad. The challenge looks forward to supporting projects that would establish innovative ideas and technology that are financially viable, socially relevant and environment-friendly. Indian citizens who are willing to work in India, affiliated to academic institutions with Central Government-approved incubation centres or Indian Oil intrapreneurs may apply to compete in the Scheme.

The startup scheme is being administered from its official portal and facilitates the community of technology and business-process innovators, and entrepreneurs throughout India in pursuing their promising ideas to the stage of validated Proof of Concept (PoC) by offering an incubation ecosystem and intellectual mentoring.

Purpose of the Scheme

The following are the main objectives of the Indian Oil Open Innovation Challenge.

  • To offer support to projects that aim to establish or validate a PoC for an innovative technology or business process re-engineering idea.
  • To promote Indian Oil Startup based on innovative technologies and business process re-engineering ideas. This has been established to support early startups and validate their ideas until the stage of PoC.
  • To develop a vibrant and innovative ecosystem.
  • To promote collaborative research.
  • To promote the idea of startups with rural orientation.
  • To bring up the state of technological innovation and intrapreneurship.
  • To open up new sectors for the younger generation of employees in order to create startup projects.


The initial step by the Scheme is to review ideas that are relevant in the sectors of Technology Process Re-Engineering (TPRE) and Business Process Re-Engineering (BPRE). A Level-1 Committee will shortlist these ideas through an adequately structured evaluation matrix. The Level-1 approved proposals would be reviewed further by a Level-2 Committee. These proposals would be evaluated based on presentations and personal interactions by the committee with the concerned applicants.

The Corporation would incubate the finalised proposals until the stage of Proof of Concept. The projects would be offered all the physical and intellectual support that they require by the Scheme. Additionally, the proposals would be provided financial and mentor support along with specialised technical assistance and testing accordingly. It should be noted that nominal charges may be applicable for testing.

Selection Eligibility

Candidates are required to apply through the portal with the help of an online application form that could be accessed on the site itself. After uploading the application, the applicant would receive an acknowledgement on their registered Email Address and an SMS on their registered Mobile Number.

Level 1 Screening: Scrutiny of Application

The following table indicates the initial screening process.

Serial Number


1 Technical feasibility of the idea or project 30
2 Innovation level 20
3 Commercial impact 10
4 Commercial strategy 10
5 Business feasibility of the project 10
6 Team profile 10
7 Risk and Mitigation factors 05
8 Relevance to IndianOil’s business 05

The cut-off mark to qualify for the second round is 70.

Level 2 Screening: Presentation and Personal Interaction

The following table indicates the second screening process.

Serial Number



1 Innovation content 30
2 Financial viability of business model 20
3 Technology / process / product 20
4 Robustness of the implementation plan 20
5 Presentation & personal interaction 10
Total 100

The cut-off mark for the final round is 60. A minimum of 50% is required in each category of evaluation.


The Indian Oil Startup Fund has been set up for the implementation of the Indian Oil Open Innovation Challenge. Funding for the selected proposals would be provided over a pre-determined time. For Technology Process Re-Engineering (TPRE) projects, the funds would be delivered over a time period of 36 months. On the other hand, a time period of 18 months would be required for fund disbursement for Business Process Re-Engineering (BPRE) projects. This would be offered in instalments in accordance with milestones achieved by the proposals. It should be noted that there would be no royalty applicable on the funds disbursed under the startup scheme.

After the startups have reached the Proof of Concept (PoC) stage, the Indian Oil Corporation Limited may choose to help in the commercialisation of selected proposals through equity participation.


The following are the guidelines for the Indian Oil Open Innovation Challenge.

  • The Scheme is open for every citizen of India. This would include Non-Resident Indians who should be willing to work and undertake projects within India.
  • Candidates may be represented individually or as a team.
  • Various funding sources will not be permitted for any project once it has been selected under this Scheme.
  • Candidates from academic institutions with Central Government-approved incubation centres are also eligible to take part in the Challenge. Therefore, individuals/teams working in the incubation centres shall be permitted too. However, a No-Objection Certificate, approved by the incubation centre, must be obtained.
  • Any technology that is bought would not be considered.
  • The scheme would be administered through its official portal. Updates on the scheme shall be available on the portal as well.
  • Intellectual Property rights for the work done under the scheme would be jointly owned by Indian Oil Corporation Limited and the entrepreneur/innovator.
  • The commercialisation of the PoC would be set up in India.
  • The right of commercialisation of any PoC would solely rely upon Indian Oil Corporation Limited.

Supported Projects

The following projects would be supported financially by the Indian Oil Startup Fund through the Indian Oil Open Innovation Challenge.

  • Process/product innovations that are commercially viable, socially relevant and environment-friendly.
  • Projects with a clear objective in terms of technology or business process re-engineering and has enough relevance to the business conducted by Indian Oil Corporation Limited.
  • Validating the Proof of Concept (PoC) for a technology or business process re-engineering idea.
  • Alternative and innovative operating solutions for any of IndianOil’s business domains.
  • Concepts and operations based on reducing waste or bringing it down to at absolute zero.
  • Projects aimed at reducing uncertainties in terms of business and technology.

Unsupported Projects

The IndianOil Startup Fund would not support the following projects.

  • Any projects related to research fellowship.
  • Projects or ideas that are against the concept of Make in India.
  • Basic research projects that aim to demonstrate scientific principles or techniques without the objective of technological commercialisation.
  • Projects without the aim to convert their proposals into implementable technologies, products or services.
  • Projects that are ethical, environmental, health and safety risks and have been deemed unfeasible by subject experts.
  • Ideas or projects with no elements of technical innovation.
  • Concepts that involve clinical trials, field trials or late-stage validation of the technology.
  • Technological ideas with no or weak connection to the fields of science, engineering or environment.
  • The funds cannot be used to support any academic research.