A startup incubator’s primary goal is to provide resources and expertise for new startups to grow their business. They provide mentorship, training, a physical workspace, critical resources, seed funding and much more.
Getting involved in an incubator is a competitive start, but choosing the right one requires a lot of thoughtful planning. How do incubators compare and what’s the right choice for your business?
Research past alums from the incubator
While doing your digital homework, make note of which companies have gotten their start in that incubator. Are these companies similar or complementary, ie all tech startups and you’re selling organic cotton shirts? Do they share similar business values? Talking to alums directly offers context and provides a larger picture to help make the best choice for your needs.
Access to the right expertise at critical junctions in a startup’s life can be the difference between success and failure. In addition to credentials, find out the expected level of access you’ll have to mentors. Go an extra step and take into account their professional preferences and styles – do they like meetings or a group chat? Choose mentors with similar work styles for an added level of comfortable collaboration. A productive relationship with mentors is critical for incubator success.
Look at the logistics
Simple tasks can add up after a while, a long commute may seem manageable during the summer, but become unbearable in the snow. An office space can facilitate collaboration for extroverts and quiet for introverts, take time to access if the incubator is a comfortable fit for your team. The unglamourous side of choosing the right incubator for your company pays off through well-planned logistics.
Getting involved in an incubator often requires adhering to a program or structure. Honestly evaluate your ability to meet those demands while running your business.
Find your tribe
Choosing the right startup incubator will add valuable expertise to your business plan and expert contacts to your network. Set yourself up for success, take the time to properly evaluate the right incubator for your business.
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