8 Important Features of a Business Incubator

8 Important Features of a Business Incubator

Simon Jenner

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Look for these features when searching for your ideal business incubator.

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Finding that perfect business incubator or accelerator can make a world of difference to your tech business.  Choosing the right one can rocket you ahead of any competition.  It’s therefore no wonder that business incubators (ours is no exception) are inundated with applications from hopeful young startups, eager to access the support, training, mentorship, key contacts and, often, capital that these programmes provide. 

But how can you tell if a business incubator is worth your while?  With often lengthy, complicated application processes, is that fancy-sounding programme worth your time and money? 

Here are 8 important things you should look for when researching your tech business incubator: 

1. Specific Value Add

Can this incubator articulate exactly what value their programme will add to your business? For some, the strength might be in their network of investors.  For others, it could be early access to pioneering new concepts. If they can’t answer specifically, it’s probably not a wise choice. 

2. Success Stories

Ask to see stories of their success, and the value of companies that have gone through their incubator.  This will not only prove their programme works, but it will also show the types of companies that do best with them. 

3. Demo Day Guests

Most incubators will feature regular Demo Days; a chance to get in front of key contacts and investors.  Ask your potential incubator who will be attending, and what their credentials are. You can then do your research and see the types of business they invest in, and how they could help you. 

4. A Collaborative Culture

Collaborating with fellow startups at your incubator, in co-working environments or attending regular events is an excellent way to get your new business off to a strong and positive start.  Look for incubators that offer a full calendar of both educational and social events. 

5. The Basics of Business

The chances are, not many incubator applicants will have run their own business before.  It is therefore vital to learn some business basics without judgement.  Your incubator should provide a comprehensive programme to teach you, or provide access to excellent resources for you to learn. 

6. A Personal Fit 

If you’re not going to get along with those who run your programme, it will be time and money wasted.  Call and have a chat with the programme founders, research those who will be supporting you, learn about their background and make sure you get along personally. 

7. Flexibility 

You’re starting a business, you’re going to be busy.  Make sure that your business incubator has a degree of flexibility should your schedule change last minute.  Will you have to travel for seminars or workshops? Is everything always in an awkward location? Do they offer online lessons that could be watched when it suits you? Can you access the co-working space out of standard business hours?

8. Communication

Even before you put in your application, communication with those who run the incubator should be easy, open and informative.  They should answer your questions quickly and effectively, and someone should be available to have a chat through any concerns you have. This level of communication is critical to you making the absolute most of the programme. If you’re struggling to contact the incubator, that could well be a red flag. 

Now you are armed with what exactly to look for and why, go forth and find the business incubator that is perfect for the exciting future of your business.  

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