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What Is A Business Incubator?
Startup 101

What Is A Business Incubator? 

Business incubators have their differences from research and technology benefits. This is because of the dedication they have towards startup and early-stage companies. Research and technology contribute to large-scale projects that help corporations, governments, or academic institutions, and even very small companies. 

Definition of Business Incubator

A business incubator is a company that assists startup companies in their development by providing services like- management, training, or office space. 

The national business institution association defines business incubators as the catalysts for national economic development or regional development. 

Tae Yoo, senior vice president of corporate affairs at Cisco, has stated, 

“Cultivating a global incubator network would help people from all backgrounds bring creative ideas to market and launch startups that generate more jobs – and would also align to the growing interest among youth for entrepreneurship.” 

About Business Incubators

Most research and technology gratuity offers business assistance services which are the home of business incubators programs. Incubations also differ from the US small business administration, small business development centers where they serve only selective clients. Santa Barbara Business colleges (SBBC) are required by law to offer general business assistance to any company that contacts them for help. 

Additionally, SBBCs work with any small business at any stage of development not only startup companies. Many business incubation programs associate with their local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to create a singular stop shop for entrepreneur support with European Union countries. 

Business Incubator

What Are Incubators?

Incubators work with entrepreneurs and startups for longer periods of time, usually 6 months to 2 years, depending on the program. The business incubators offer little to no upfront capital. 

Also, these companies require little to no equity in return for their valuable guidance, assistance, and mentorship. They are usually funded by grants, universities for which they do not take upfront fees or little to no equity in return for their services. This is a very useful side of business incubators.

Business Incubator

Traits Of A Business Incubator

  • Their mentorship will help you avoid mistakes early on i.e. no mistake in your early-stage startup. 
  • The community is extremely competitive, hard to get into, i.e. might have to try multiple times. 
  • The means of funding and/or capital is either upfront or down the road. 
  • Your schedule revolves around your mentors which is tough to navigate your own schedules around. 
  • You get to build valuable connections and networks. 
  • You will have to take multiple peoples’ inputs and opinions into account. 

Do You Need A Startup Incubator? 

A startup incubator is an organization that provides an office, supporting personnel, and the organizational support you need to recognize your goals. For example, Parisoma is the oldest and the best-known startup incubator in San Francisco (oldest co-working space). You may even have heard about it.

A little about Parisoma

Parisoma was founded in 2008, has about 200 members now, mostly foreign entrepreneurs where they come from all around the world such as Europe, Asia, Latin America. Almost two-thirds of their members are not from the USA originally.

Parisoma supports the growth of new companies via active community participation including classes, events, and stimulating partnerships. 

Moreover, they bring forth a very flexible workspace, education consisting of a curriculum of classes so that members can gain more skills in entrepreneurship, design, code, and a safe community for startups to thrive and learn together. 

Furthermore, they deliver supporting services so that the new or startup companies can have mentoring. They prefer balance so they have one of each: an investor, a strategic consultant, and a mentor. Thus, all of them can give valuable feedback, not just business but also go-to-market strategy or more about team and marketing strategy. 

Success stories of Parisoma: 

  • UBER
  • Gigster
  • Oliber (helping people with disability): People can work without the use of hands or fingers, it’s a magnetic glove, which aids them to do daily work like eating, washing, etc. 

Unfortunately, interesting ideas always do not guarantee success. Such as Uber before its boom, had 8 fails. 

“How to be successful?” 

Charlie Rebiich, coach at Zone in an interview answered this question, 

“They have to have passion; they really have to care about the community that they serve or the market they are going to serve because that’s what brings the best products to the market. Also, the ability to network, bring in the tools, resources they need to be able to grow and learn as founders so that they can be successful.” 

Why do so many people go up and start up a new venture, despite the high risk of failure?

Stephane Renault, Al ambassador at Fabernovel answered this,

“It is a new way to do stuff, a lot of people say they do not desire to work in a conventional workplace, they want to create their own stuff. There is a new model of working, the best advice would be “go to give it a go.”

Where to find those applications and great resources for you?

Well, www.F6S.com  is that resource! They list all the incubators, accelerators, pitch competitions, workspaces, and even startup jobs. You can apply directly through the site, immediately your application will be taken and sent to the specific program that you want to apply for. 

The second good resource would be www.angel.co. It is known as an angles list and it is kind of like the Linkedin of Startups. They can look for you, your personal information, and what your startup’s all about.

5 Bangladeshi platforms where you can launch/pitch your startup: 

  1. Grameenphone Accelerator 
  2. Toru Impactors
  3. Urban Innovation Challenge
  4. Tiger Cage  
  5. iDEA Accelerator

Final Words

To conclude, in spite of the disadvantages, business and startup incubators are irreplaceable ports in a storm for new or startup companies. Not all may require business incubators, however, it is unceasingly favorable to take shelter from one. 

Subsequently, it is crucial to do comprehensive research before choosing the right business incubator as they all have their specific beneficial functions where one might be good, however, fail to do good for you.   

Angel Investors vs Venture Capitalists

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