Through the proposal application template we would like to understand your business in more depth than what was covered in the preliminary pitch deck.


  1. What would be the “Project Duration” ?

    Project duration will be 6 months i.e. the duration of incubation at Catalyst Incubator. A good strategy would be to clearly identify how you would like to leverage Catalyst resources in this period. All budgets, work plans and projects identified pertain to these 6 months (starting late November/early December).

  2. What’s is DUNS? If we are an India registered company, do we need it? Does it cost to get a DUNS number?

    D-U-N-S (Data Universal Numbering System) Number is a unique nine digit identification number, for your business. D-U-N-S offers the advantage of supplier and partner discovery by provision of your company data to the host of companies on the platform. Catalyst is a USAID funded entity. USAID is the source for the incubation funds. As a donor, they need it to establish the trace ability of the organization they fund, hence startups should apply for DUNS. The application process is simple and completely online. D-U-N-S number assignment is free for all businesses required to register with the US Federal government for contracts or grants. If you don’t have a D-U-N-S number but have applied for the same, please share the proof of application along with the Phase 2 documentation. We will share a detailed D-U-N-S process FAQ separately via email.

  3. What would be the location of the project?

    The current location of your business and Jaipur would be the project location for the incubation period.

  4. What should we cover in the project summary?

    Project summary should be a 300 word overview of your organization i.e. the need served, approach to solve the problem, impact created etc. Please feel free to add more than what the pitch deck covered to give us a holistic sense of your business.

  5. What is expected to be submitted as the “Cost share” to the project?

    Any capital invested in the venture, past expenses on tech and analytics development, financial and non-financial contributions of the founder, office space and supplies account for cost share. We would also like to understand what additional cost share the team plans to bring in the 6 months of the incubation program.

  6. What are the requirements for traveling to Jaipur? Which team members are required to be present for Jaipur pilots?

    Organizations are required to spend at least 8 weeks in Jaipur. You can spend more time at Jaipur to leverage Catalyst resources and test your product. We offer the flexibility to decide how you wish to spend these weeks i.e. do 8 weeks at a stretch, break it down into four 2 week blocks etc. During the course of these 8 weeks, we would like the founding team to be present. If that is not possible at least one founder has to participate.

  7. Does the project need to be executed in Jaipur or our current operational area?

    We encourage and expect startups to run product pilots in Jaipur in addition to running in their current operational area. Catalyst will provide resources (Fleet on Street, Research Lab etc.) to aid such pilots.

  8. How do we deal with fields that are not applicable to our business for e.g. Enabling merchants and digitalizing supply chains?

    Please give a summary of your business/project highlighting the impact you are creating for the bottom 80%. Ignore fields that are not relevant to your business.

  9. Why are we seeking supplier or client references? For early stage ventures with no suppliers and customers who could be shared as a reference?

    Catalyst will not take board seat or equity in lieu of our investment hence we need to check the credibility of startups we fund. We are seeking to reach out to references who have known you in professional capacity and can vouch for your past experience. You could share references of suppliers, clients, investors, ex employers or professors as fit for your organization and personal experience. You can also refer clients you are in advanced discussion with. Also please indicate in the proposal how your past experience helps you in your current venture.

    Please suggest your references keeping the above in mind. We will reach out to your references via call/email.


  1. What is the duration of the budget period?

    We require a 6 month budget. We are interested in a budget plan showcasing the utilisation of the grant (INR 33 lacs) over the incubation period.

  2. What is the proposed payment structure for the grant funding?

    Startups have to define milestones and how much money is needed to reach the milestones. Post mutual discussion funding will be released on achievement of each milestone. We would request you to rationalize the number of milestones to ensure smooth procurement of funds i.e. 2-3 clear measurable milestones over a 6 month period linked to grant disbursal.

  3. Would an app build for our platform be considered a milestone?

    Yes, if it’s relevant for the platform success it will be considered a milestone.

  4. What are the preferable uses for the grant?

    While the use of grant may vary for different organizations, we would like to the grant to be utilized for technology and analytics development, testing products and incentive models etc. as relevant to your business.

  5. Are these expenses restricted only to Jaipur project or could be used for project in other locations?

    While we expect organizations to run pilots in Jaipur, expenses in other business/base location will also be considered under the incubation process.

  6. What are fringe benefits?

    Fringe benefits are benefits that supplement employee salary e.g. medical insurance, fuel reimbursement, company housing etc. As an organization you are expected to define your own fringe benefits.

  7. Are PAN/ TAN alternatives to VAT/ Tax Registration No.? Is GST mandatory?

    No. You are expected to register for GST and share your GSTIN or evidence of application by 10th of October. We can only disburse grant funds to organizations once the GSTIN is in place.

  8. Can past technology development expenses be accounted as cost share?


  9. What is the expected total budget value?

    The total budget has to add up to the grant (INR 33 lacs) plus cost share by your organization over the 6 month period.

  10. If we don’t have a sub awardee, does Budget Template apply to us?

    Sub awardee refers to the organization being funded i.e. your organization. All applicants have to fill up and submit the budget template.

  11. Are owners eligible to draw salary?

    We expect the founders to continue displaying skin in the game. We would advise judicious use of the funding provided. Hence the grant budget should not be heavily biased towards founder or team salaries.

  12. How will deviations from budget be handled?

    We will mutually understand reasons for deviation and make necessary changes and adjustments in the tranche flows as necessary.

  13. We have already made significant investment in our startup so far. Do we need to put in additional capital in co-share?

    We will consider past investment as a part of the cost share.

    Please add any additional financial/non-financial investment you bring to the table in the course of the incubation process.

  14. Can the cost share plan be updated or does it have to match exactly with the phase 1 submission?

    This is an opportunity to deep dive into cost sharing plan already submitted. Cost sharing plan should mostly be in line with what was previously shared. If post the webinar, you wish to add more details to the same, please feel free to modify accordingly.


  1. Are audited financials mandatory? What about very young organizations that don’t have them?

    Audited Financials are not necessary for very young startups. You can share relevant business related bank statements. Should that be a concern, please write to us at [email protected] and we will share potential substitutes for this verification.

  2. We haven’t done our audit for the last 2 years. Please advice

    If your company has been in existence for a 2 year or longer, we would need audited statements.

  3. Why do you want bank statements from companies who are not in the cohort yet?

    We require the bank statements to understand the current financial state of the organization. This also acts as an evidence of founder financial contributions / external investment till date. You could also submit audited financials, cash flow statements etc. as mentioned in the document.

  4. Will an online system-generated bank statement suffice?

    We prefer bank stamped statements to ensure authenticity of the document.

  5. Do we need HR / Procurement / and other organizational policies in Phase 2. What if certain policies are not applicable to us?

    Policies are measures of governance. We want to ensure there are rules around expenditure and operations. Currently specified policies are standard company policies which will be applicable to all organizations. Policy documents need to come with phase 2 documents. Please feel free to leverage relevant existing industry policies and modifying them as per your organization’s requirements.


The M&E workbook is our way of giving you an opportunity to tell us parameters on which we shall evaluate you on. There has to be a balanced focus on commercials of the business and the impact it creates.

  1. What if the project sector isn’t relevant to us?

    Project sector may not be relevant to all of you, hence ignore.

  2. What if my business model is not available as an option?

    If your option is not available, please mention it on the next cell.

  3. Is it necessary to have a gender focused business metric?

    No. If your business has gender focus and you would like to be evaluated on those grounds, do share relevant details.

  4. Are the list of current indicators final and standard for all organizations?

    No. Indicators in the sheet are indicative. Please modify it on the basis of what is relevant to your business. We are seeking 8 KPIs per organization - 2 Operations, 2 Financial, 1 Organization and 3 Impact. There are detailed laundry lists of KPIs to choose from the subsequent tabs. Please select the ones most relevant for your business and add monthly targets.

  5. Who is the organization POC?

    The Organization POC will be the founder/team member responsible for interacting with the Catalyst team for all M&E related matters.

  6. Do we have to fill in actuals?

    Not currently. Except for the Tab “Actuals” the remainder has to be filled up as a part of the Phase 2 material. The actual sheet will be filled while in operation during incubation.

  7. What are the implications if the startup doesn’t meet its targets?

    We will discuss the plan and see how to realign the targets. We will work to figure out bottlenecks and aim to resolve issues. If you are completely unable to meet targets we may not disburse the final tranche of investment.

  8. Are metrics like Education, Agriculture etc applicable to all organizations?

    Please ignore metrics that are inapplicable to your business.


This work plan lays out how you will align tasks to achieve your KPIs and business milestones during the course of incubation with Catalyst while leveraging our digital lab in Jaipur and mentorship program. It’s a week on week Gantt chart for activities that need to be conducted in liaison with Catalyst.

  1. How is the work plan different from M&E KPIs?

    M&E KPIs are the business goals you wish to achieve in the 6 month period. Gantt chart defines the timelines and task flow to achieve those goals.

  2. Will finalizing the work plan template be a joint, consultative exercise?

    We need a broad plan from your organization before we go into consultative mode. Once the startups share their work plan expectations, Catalyst team will collaborate to ensure we touch base and refine this mutually. The idea is to ensure startups can tie in the identified KPIs to clear tasks, utilizing our Jaipur infrastructure and mentor ship effectively.


  1. Is it necessary to do 8 weeks in Jaipur?

    Yes. You are to spend 8 weeks. We would advise you to look at 8 weeks in Jaipur as an opportunity to leverage Catalyst research team, fleet on street to test your product.

  2. Is the stay in Jaipur funded over and above the grant?

    Stay in Jaipur will be managed out of the allocated grant budget (INR 33 lacs). We have partnership with startup oasis to offer workspace at discounted prices. The catalyst team will also help your organization identify accommodation and other logistics but the expenses are borne out of the grant offered.

  3. What infrastructure will catalyst provide in Jaipur?

    Apart from discounted workplace and assistance in logistics, Catalyst will help you with its fleet on the street, research teams and data analytics team. Peripherals like tablets will also be provisioned.

  4. Is the Catalyst Fleet on Street actual business development guys?

    Blend of both based in Jaipur.


  1. Will Catalyst help you partner with Financial Institutions and Government?

    Yes. We have Financial Institutions, Government bodies and various other partners in the ecosystem that the selected startups will get access too.

  2. What are the dates for the start of the program?

    Early December (Tentatively 4th December).

  3. Where should we reach out for additional queries?

    Please send additional queries to [email protected]


  1. If we have multiple use-cases, which use-case to focus on for the project? Should we mention more than 1 use-case?

    Please mention more than one use case. Use this as an opportunity to showcase more about your business.

  2. Is there any material / presentation to be shared aside from the templates you’ve shared as ‘phase 2 materials’?

    Please don’t share any additional material.

  3. Past performance is past job experience?

    For early stage ventures, we will consider past experience of the founders as past performance.

  4. Can you elaborate on the process post-submission of Phase 2 materials?

    Post submission, Catalyst team will touch base with the organizations for any queries and clarifications over emails and telecons. Before an organization is selected for the program there will be a site visit to meet the team in person at their operating location.

  5. Do we get time to develop a full-fledged product during incubation?

    All selected organizations have MVPs in place. You are encouraged to use grant funding to further develop and improve the platform.


The more relevant information you share, the easier will be our analysis to select the finalists. All of these details are evaluative not eliminative.

The final phase 2 material has to be sent via email to [email protected]

All the best!

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