ICD Pre-Seed Fund

The International Chamber of Design Pre-Seed Fund is designed to assist emerging creative businesses to develop their business strategy, validate their product / service offering and revenue model, and position themselves for growth nationally and/or internationally.

The International Chamber of Design Pre-Seed Fund provides loans of up to $25,000 to qualifying creative industries businesses. Applications are assessed on a competitive basis, and only companies with potential for significant growth are selected for investment.

Companies that receive funding from the ICD International Chamber of Design Pre-Seed Fund may choose to seek further funding via an investment from the International Chamber of Design Fund. Applications for the International Chamber of Design Fund will be considered on their own merit. Funding from the pre-seed fund can be used to validate the potential of the business and to map out the next phase of the business’s strategy. Funding will be provided against agreed milestones, and ICD will expect to generate a commercial return on the investment.

The International Chamber of Design Pre-Seed Fund will target companies with strong growth potential, and will apply broadly the same invest ability test as the International Chamber of Design Fund.  Investment will normally be by taking an equity stake, however alternative forms of funding will be considered, that allow for the fact that not all creative businesses will be able to achieve a liquidity event, such as a convertible note.

Sectors that are eligible for the program

ICD applies a reasonably broad definition to “creative industries”, and will consider providing pre-seed funding to companies in the following sectors:

•    Art;

•    Design;

•    Fashion;

•    Entertainment;

•    Digital Media;

•    Music;

•    Film & television;

•    Games & interactive content; and

•    Software with application to any of these sectors.


ICD will not consider providing pre-seed loan funding to companies in the following sectors unless a clear commercial return can be shown:

•    Antiques;

•    Galleries;

•    Museums;

•    Markets


ICD will also not consider proposals to fund not-for-profit entities or projects that do not have a clear commercial focus. ICD will not allocate funds to support the repayment of debt or fees to third parties for capital raising services.

Investment Criteria

ICD will consider applications for pre-seed funding from companies that meet the following criteria:

•    An existing Tax ID business license which is operating in the creative industries, in the sectors referred to in the previous section of these Guidelines

•    Key milestone evidence of how this seed investment can enable the growth of the company to achieve short term commercial milestones (3-6 months) to underpin the future commercial and potential investment strategy

•    Appropriate intellectual property protection strategy (ie: trademarks, registered designs or patents as appropriate)

•    A clear business strategy and commercial plan to grow the business

•    Opportunity to tackle significant markets and create a nationally or globally scalable business

•    Capable management team with demonstrable sector knowledge

•    Realistic financial projections showing how the business will generate revenues

•    Evidence that the pre-seed funding will assist the business to validate its business model and to become sustainable

•    Evidence that competition and risk issues have been defined and understood

•    A clearly defined plan for short term milestones to build a compelling case to achieve revenues and return on investment for investors

What can the funds be used for?

The pre-seed funding program can be used to support activities that validate the company’s business model and help it achieve sustainability and continued growth. Some examples of activities that could be supported using pre-seed funding from ICD:

•    Market research to refine business strategy

•    Identifying future investment and funding requirements

•    Supporting product, content, technical and creative development

•    Securing intellectual property rights

•    Developing sales, marketing and communications plans

•    Pursuing strategic partnership opportunities, including travel costs

•    Refining business development or financial models to scale the business

Is there anything that cannot be funded using International Chamber of Design Pre-Seed Fund from ICD?

Pre-seed funding from ICD may not be used for:

•    Bridge financing or “funding of last resort” for businesses that are struggling or unable to remain viable without the loan

•    Salaries or other payments to the founders / business owners

•    Paying down existing debt of any sort

•    Paying any third party introduction or success fees for capital raising services

•    Meeting routine business operating costs such as rent or utilities

•    Supporting an individual project or product that can not demonstrate a clear business plan application