What does Incubator Mean in a Startup?

What does Incubator Mean in a Startup?

An incubator or a business incubator is a type of collaborative development program for startup companies. The main purpose of an incubator is to help a startup company develop and grow its business by offering workspace, training, seed funding, etc.

Key Takeaways

  • Incubator programs are mostly for the startup or small businesses
  • Incubator programs offer various support, advice, and financial helps to the startups
  • You have to go through a selection process before you can enroll in an incubator program
  • After the enrolment, you will get a co-working space at an affordable price
  • An incubator program will offer you all types of help to develop your business

What is a Startup Incubator?

A startup incubator is a type of program which is physically located in one location. In fact, it is a type of central workspace which is specially designed for the development of startup companies. Startup incubators are nonprofit organizations and in most cases, they are associated with universities and business schools. Different educational institutes invite students, teachers, and alumni to participate in these programs and help startup companies. Some popular startup incubator programs are Y Combinator, TechStars, and Excelerate Labs. An incubator program offers various resources that are needed to launch a startup business successfully. Types of services offered by a Startup incubator are –

  • Help with business basics
  • Networking activities
  • Marketing assistance
  • Market Research
  • High-speed Internet access
  • Help with accounting/financial management
  • Access to bank loans, loan funds, and guarantee programs
  • Help with presentation skills
  • Links to higher education resources
  • Links to strategic partners
  • Access to angel investors or venture capital
  • Comprehensive business training programs
  • Advisory boards and mentors
  • Management team identification
  • Help with business etiquette
  • Technology commercialization assistance
  • Help with regulatory compliance
  • Intellectual property management  

List of Industries Supported by a Startup Incubator

Creative industries
Computer software
eBusiness / eCommerce
Wireless technology
Healthcare technology
Medical devices
Advanced materials
Biosciences/life sciences
Defense/homeland security
Environment/clean technologies
Computer hardware

List of Best Incubator Programs for Startup Companies

  1. Y Combinator
  2. Techstars
  3. 500 Startups
  4. Plug and Play
  5. Google for Startups Accelerator
  6. Alchemist Accelerator
  7. Dreamit Ventures
  8. Founders Factory
  9. MassChallenge
  10. Startupbootcamp
  11. AngelPad
  12. Amplify. LA
  13. Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator
  14. SOSV
  15. The Company Lab (CO.LAB)
  16. Union Kitchen
  17. Newchip Accelerator
  18. Boomtown Accelerators
  19. Capital Factory
  20. Lair East Labs
  21. Seedcamp
  22. Startup Chile
  23. Wayra
  24. Microsoft Accelerator
  25. StartX
  26. Boost VC
  27. AlphaLab
  28. Mucker Capital
  29. MetaProp
  30. Berkeley SkyDeck

How to Enroll in an Incubator Program

If you want to enroll in an incubator program then you have to apply for the program. Then if your application gets accepted, you will be able to enroll in the program. Each incubator program has its own selection process that you have to go through. However, most programs have the below selection steps –

  • Submit an Application: In order to enroll in an incubator program, you have to fill out a form and then submit it with the required documents. Usually, the form contains information regarding the business and yourself. You might have to submit a business plan and proof of your previous business activities.
  • Face an Interview: Depending on the selection process, you might have to face an interview. Usually, this type of interview is short and the main aim of an interview is to find out about your business experience. An interview can be face to face or via a video call.
  • Receive a Decision: After the interview, you will receive a notification about your selection. It could take up to a week or more to get the decision. If you are selected then you can apply for financial support after completing all the admission formalities.
How to Enroll in an Incubator Program

Advantages and Disadvantages of Incubator Program for a Startup

An incubator program offers a co-working space at an affordable priceThis type of program usually has slow progress
You will get mentorship from the industry’s most experienced professionals This type of program is best for business that needs lots of time to develop
You will get access to various training materials and educational resourcesIt is very difficult to get into a high-quality/renowned incubator program
Acceptance to a renowned incubator program can help you find funding for your startupYou will need proper educational qualifications and experience in business activities to get selected for the program
You will be able to create a network with other startups and share knowledge and experienceYou must have a startup or business plan to apply for the program
You will get all types of help to develop your businessMost programs have a time commitment of around one to two years

Is a Business Incubator Program Right for a Startup?

From a general perspective, a business incubator program is definitely right for a startup. This is because almost all the business incubator programs are designed for startups and small businesses which are in the early phase. So, if you have a startup and looking for mentorship and affordable office spaces then you won’t find anything better than an incubator program. You might have to make a long-term commitment while enrolling in the program but if you think you and your startup are ok with then there is nothing to worry about. There are lots of incubator programs available and different program offers different type of support. Therefore, before enrolling in an incubator program you should make sure the help offered by the program will meet your requirements. Otherwise, it will be a waste of both your time and effort.



Last Updated on October 8, 2022 by Ana S. Sutterfield

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