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Launching a business takes dedication, hard work and a lot of passion. Today’s world is full of entrepreneurial spirit and a lot of competition, but there is also a lot of support for new and growing businesses. A Business incubator provide all the growth-related resources you need in one place.
What are business incubators?
They help companies in two ways:
- By improving its survival rates in the early years
- By maximizing its potential growth.
They provide support services in a wide range of activities from business basics to management training, network activities, and facilitating access to investment. Business incubators are best suited for startups or companies in the early stages or select clients with specific issues and can vary depending on sector and types of business. However, the common goal of any incubator is to support businesses early on in validating whether their concept is viable and sustainable.
Types of business incubators
There are different types of business incubators that focus on the specific needs of different sectors or business models:
- Virtual business incubators have been around for years but really took off with the dot-com boom. They operate online and offer all of the resources of a traditional incubator but allow you to maintain your physical business separately.
- Social incubators provide support to those entrepreneurs that hope to transform the lives of people by concentrating on public welfare and social programs.
- Seed accelerators offer support and help to startups with cohort-based programs. They focus on a broad range of activities and the application process is open to everyone, but is highly competitive. Similarly, corporate accelerators support early startups, but are usually programs from larger companies who want to keep tabs on new business trends.
- Kitchen incubators are designed to support the ever-changing food service industry and medical incubators help medical startups to navigate the complicated world of product development and validation.
- Startup studios work at building several companies successively, testing different ideas at the same time and transitioning the best ones into companies. Venture builders work in a similar way to startup studios but deal with the internal resources of the company.
How do incubators work?
Incubators will help your business to grow with many different methods. They will give you access to mentors, research, training, and networking with other professionals and new and growing companies.
Another advantage incubators offer is that they help you to find investors, putting you in contact with angel investors or venture capitalists who are searching for businesses to invest in.
Finding the right business incubator for you
Business incubators do not serve all companies and you must apply to enter a program. There is usually an application process followed by an interview and a review of your business plan. You need a feasible business plan that will be assessed by a screening committee before you are admitted. The amount of time a company spends in an incubation program can vary widely and there are different development benchmarks. So, how do you go about finding a business incubator?
Business incubators tend to adapt to each business’s particular needs and usually last as long as the business needs the support to grow into a sustainable enterprise. Platforms like the Finnovating Marketplace are an excellent way of finding the best connections for you and your company in areas such as digital marketing, cloud providers, HR, legal services and investment partners.
Another great way to research available business incubator opportunities is through Finnovating’s challenges area. The platform provides a streamlined listing of available challenges that companies can browse to see possible innovations, investment opportunities and incubator schemes. Businesses and investors can make connections with other enterprises who are launching new projects, promoting partnership proposals or searching for funding.
There is a large selection of acceleration and incubation programs for different types of businesses and the quick view displays the company detail, the type of challenge, how many days are left to join, and geographical location. Particularly interesting challenges can be opened to reveal a more detailed description of the initiative and an indication of how your company profile might match the proposal according to criteria such as activities of interest, business model, funding stage, and more.
How do business incubators help?
Incubators can help you save on costs by cutting down on overheads, providing training programs, mentorship and promoting innovation in your business. They will also create connections with other startups, potential partners and venture capitalists who may be interested in funding your plans.
One of the primary advantages of business incubators is that they serve as a resource for securing investment, and apart from saving costs in the early days of your business, they can help with more long-term capital opportunities. They can help you to network with investors and introduce you to different sources of funding. Incubator coaches can also help you to present a more attractive business plan to investors, by mentoring you to create an appealing business pitch.
Advantages of business incubators
Incubators foster the development of your company by providing access to industry experts and mentors that offer support for growth and innovation. The collaborative nature of incubators also brings you closer to potential sources of capital. By the time you leave a business incubator, you usually do so with a resilient company that is making the most of its potential, and as a result looks very attractive to potential investors. Incubators have everything your company needs to be successful.