Leap To Unicorn

The Indian Startup ecosystem is basking in a golden period. Many entrepreneurs are swiftly innovating and building in India for the world, thus partaking in the flourishing India growth story. Therefore, it becomes more pertinent that they have the right resources and opportunities at the right time to take the big leap and thrive.

With this intent, IDFC FIRST Bank has joined hands with Moneycontrol and CNBCTV18 to create ‘Leap To Unicorn’, a one-of-its-kind Founder Success Program that provides mentoring, networking, and fundraising opportunities for India’s most promising startups through a meticulously planned journey.

Apply NOW for Season 2 and give wings to your entrepreneurial dreams.

Deadline Extended till 29th Feb 2024


What is Leap to Unicorn?

LEAP TO UNICORN is an initiative by IDFC FIRST Bank and Network18 to provide startups an opportunity to network, get mentoring and raise funds for business. The initiative provides India’s most promising startup a 15-day boot camp conducted by Startup ecosystem experts, an opportunity to pitch to India’s marquee investors along with media coverage to share your idea with the world.

How do I apply for this program?

Click on the “Get Funded” button at the top of the page to access the form. Please fill in all the details to register and participate in the Leap to Unicorn programme.

What is the next step in the selection process?

The Leap to Unicorn programme will be carried out in 4 phases as below

  • Phase 1: Registrations – All budding entrepreneurs are invited to register and participate in the Leap to Unicorn programme. The registration window closes in 31st January 2024.
  • Phase 2: Shortlisting of Participants for the Bootcamp– Post registrations, our process partner, ‘Headstart Foundation’ will evaluate the startups who have registered for the Leap to Unicorn Programme. Post evaluation, the top 400 startups will be shortlisted and will be eligible for a 15-day virtual boot camp consisting of masterclasses on various topics by industry experts, founders, and top Investors to make you ready for raising funds, refining your pitch deck and your overall storytelling and pitching skills.
  • Phase 3: Virtual Pitch – Post the conclusion of the boot camp and various Masterclasses, all 400 startups will prepare and share a 5-minute pitch video about your business idea. Post evaluation of the pitch videos, the top 20 startups will be selected for the Jury Round, where a panel of top people from the ecosystem will assess you and your business at a virtual pitch day.
  • Phase 4: Finale- Post Virtual Pitch day, the top 5 startups selected by the Jury will be invited to the Network18 studio shoot in Mumbai to make a fundraise pitch to investors and have a chance to get funded.

When will I get to know that I am selected?

The results of Phase 2, i.e the boot camp are expected to be announced tentatively by early February 2024

What is the last date for registration?

The last date for registration is 31st January, 2024.

Whom do I contact for enquiries?

For any queries or support, Write to [email protected]

What are the eligibility criteria for applying to this program?

The Startups/ Founders meeting below criteria are invited to register and participate in the Leap To Unicorn program.

  • The startup is based in India
  • At least one Founder/ Co-founder is above 18 years
  • Should at least have a prototype – Minimum Viable Product (MVP) ready

Do I need to register my startup before registering for this?

In the registration phase, it is not necessary to incorporate your startup entity. You can register and participate in the programme without an incorporated startup. However, as a part of Phase 2 and onwards of the Leap to Unicorn programme, only incorporated startups will be eligible to move to the next round.

I have a startup registered outside India, but provides services to India, can I register?

If you have an office in India from where services are provided to the Indian market, you can participate in the Leap to Unicorn programme.

Which stage does my startup need to be in at the time of registration?

It should have at least a working prototype or minimum viable product (MVP) ready

Are there any application fees or expenses involved on my part while applying for this programme?

None, there are no application fees or expenses involved on your part while applying for this programme.

What are the benefits of applying for this programme?

  • High Visibility – Get recognized through one of the biggest media houses in India and also get a chance to feature in the IDFC FIRST Report – ‘Top 100 Startups to watch out for’
  • Access to Resources – Get access to expert knowledge, attended curated sessions and exclusive Masterclasses, opportunity to pitch to investors, and other essentials to scale up your business from top investors, unicorn founders, government partners, Incubators, Accelerators, etc.

What documents would I be required to submit for registration?

For Phase 01

    • Images / Videos of the product, if any
    • Safety testing certificate (if needed)

For Phase 02

    • Prototype/product demonstration video
    • Pitch video
    • Written business plan (if you have any)
    • Proofs of identity required during the KYC verification

For later stages

  • Company registration documents
  • Documents regarding financing (from investors, banks, etc.), if any
  • Company financial documents (such as ITR, etc.)
  • Any trademark and intellectual property certificates

I have made some errors in the form that I have submitted, how can I get it corrected?

You will be able to edit the form until you hit submit. In case, there is some error you can notify us at [email protected]

Will the confidentiality of the documents that I have shared be maintained?

Yes, we ensure that the information shared will be strictly confidential. And, only the empanelled jury members will have access to them.

I am getting an error while submitting the form, what should I do?

For any queries or support, click here or call 1800-10-888 or write to [email protected]

How will I get notified if I get selected?

We will be sending a confirmation email as well as text to the email ID and number you have provided on the form.

Can I submit the application for more than one startup?

Yes, you can submit applications for more than one startup. However, submitting two or more ideas for the same startup is prohibited