For first time entrepreneurs, starting any company, be it cleaning services, towing service, software development, or eCommerce, can be a lonely process. There is a lot of hard work, dedication, and self-discipline that need to be put in, with limited options and resources at your disposal. Over the last few years, founders and startups have turned their attention to business incubators and accelerators to grow their business.
It is a concept that makes a lot of sense for entrepreneurs at their early stages of founding a company, to leverage a defined process for success and transition to a sustainable business.
A business incubator is a company that helps startups and new businesses accelerate their growth and success. Incubators achieve this by providing support in a variety of areas including management training, capital mentorship, office space, and networking connections. Incubators can be sponsored by different types of organizations including private companies, venture funds as well as lending institutions.
Some incubators are focused on a particular type of companies, such as fintech startups, vertical markets – those that invest in energy markets, etc. Companies usually spend one or two years in business incubators. The span is normally determined by need and obligation. The ability to receive quick, accurate information from incubator executives and mentors holds a significant key to the growth of a startup.
There are different tasks that business incubators do.
Some incubators offer office space for free and even on below-market rates to their portfolio companies. Doing so helps in solving several problems for startups. It allows startups to find a professional space for their employees to work without having to sign a lease. This can be very useful when a company is not sure how quickly they will scale their production.
Some incubators invest in specialized equipment such as modeling software, prototyping equipment, 3D printers, and software development labs. This acts as a huge advantage for scaling companies at their early stages. Access to costly equipment and simulation programs would be crucial for the growth of such companies, and this can be made possible if companies can get what they need at the lowest cost.
It is very important for startups to make little mistakes when scaling up. Most incubators offer experienced staff or very savvy industry experts to offer much-needed help to core teams to stay focused and avoid making common mistakes. Incubators normally bring onboard mentors who have specific startup experience to help them in explaining processes, planning, and making key decisions.
Group training and education
Many business incubators offer a wide array of important business training that spans from legal advice on startup documentation and incorporation to other general business issues such as product development, research, innovation, and establishing company culture. There will also be shared business services much such as leveraging the availability of software and selection, and other services such as accounting, banking, marketing, and manufacturing. If you are considering getting signed up to an accelerator program for your business, there has never been a better time like now.