Software industry body NASSCOM on 11 January announced formation of a fund with an initial corpus of INR 100 crore to help individuals and very small companies in setting up their businesses. The anchor investors in the Nasscom-ICICI Knowledge Park Innovation Fund (NIIF) – are Tata Consultancy Services, Bharti Airtel Ltd and ICICI Knowledge Park, Nasscom said. Nasscom President Kiran Karnik said the fund would have a corpus of INR 100 crore to start with, but this could be increased to INR 200 crore in future. There will not be more than ten institutional investors in the fund. The fund will invest in sectors such as medical devices, life sciences, wireless technologies, automotive infotronics and energy conservation. It will invest in early stage companies and help academicians as well as researchers looking to commercialise their inventions. Karnik said the Indian IT/BPO industry has grown ten times over the last decade. While the larger firms have the resources to invest in innovations, smaller ones fail to scale up due to lack of timely availability of seed capital. Besides, there are certain fields where the risks are high and gestation periods long, he said. The new fund will help meet the requirement of these entrepreneurs, Karnik added.