Entrepreneurs know it is scary and intimidating to put ideas in the open among millions of critics. They are not alone. All ideas face hardship, and the more we share the further we will develop as a society. More ideas and more critics result in innovation.
When deciding to join an incubator, the choice is important for both the entrepreneur and the incubator. While the decision to apply lies with the startup founder, acceptance is up to the incubator. The act of just applying your idea to an incubator increases awareness of your business and the odds of receiving benefits.
To optimize resources , services provided by the incubator depend on the batch selected. Incubators aim for maximum success, so matching the needs of startups entering the program is crucial. If your startup does not get into the incubator, it is a good idea to keep applying. Rejection may be due to the incompatibility of the services offered with your business idea. Keep in mind that there is no direct path to success!
One of the most difficult hurdles for a new business is funding. Contrary to traditional investment, being in an incubator allows for more than just monetary gain. Incubators offer not only investment, but mentorship, work space and a long list of opportunities that expand with the right network.
Incubators are a risky investment but here are five reasons to help in your decision making.
ACCESS TO INFORMATION
Within an incubator, entrepreneurs and innovators fuel and bounce ideas off each other. New ideas and ways of thinking are encouraged through processes of creating, sharing, transferring and managing information. Honest constructive feedback from those with more expertise is key to improvement. The incubator environment sparks curiosity with openness that is needed for success. Introspection, provided through information access, is one of the top reasons to place your business idea within an incubator. The environment offered is unmatched in any other space for new businesses ideas.
ACCESS TO NETWORKS
Incubators provide startups with in-house services and offer technical expertise from outside networks. Networks break down barriers of technology, markets, and financial capital. For example, at the ProVeg Incubator, not only do startups have access to investors, but having been an expert in plant-based lifestyle in Germany there is access to lots of other internal connections. This makes networks of consumers and other channels of distribution easily accessible.
ACCELERATED DEAL FLOW
Funding: as mentioned, it is the biggest challenge for startups and the highest priority. Incubators save time and money by connecting ideas directly to investors best suited to their business. The ProVeg incubator mission is to grow the plant based food market and reduce the consumption of animal products worldwide. Support of this mission helps ensure that products developed within the incubator are attractive to mass markets. An incubator spends energy in solidifying investments and relationships to guarantee successful outcomes. With the same goal to scale, investment is important for both startups and incubator.
If an entrepreneur has an innovative idea, validation is the best way to determine scalability. Incubators monitor how ideas address market needs and give feedback to improve a prototype. The support offered addresses both the business and morale issues a company has. Validation outside of an incubator space is much more difficult to obtain. Incubators witness startups succeed and fail so input is given to reduce risks before going to market. Not only do startups receive valuable information, but also encouragement, incubators want to see startups succeed.
IMPROVED ODDS OF SUCCESS
History has shown that ideas and people brought together with a common goal increases the chances of success. Growth, sustainability and impact stem from innovation supported by business incubators. Within a short period of time, incubators offer a launching pad presenting a better understanding of how products will perform. This is essential in a startup’s success. Many startups that we know today have utilized the benefits and experience of being in an incubator to get where they are today.
Incubators provide a lot to startups in addition to opportunity for investment. The relationship created from an incubator program establishes monitored business assistance and interactions between the cohort and incubator. This investment in relationship equals to success for both the incubator and the startups entering.
When making the decision of whether or not to enter your idea into an incubator program, remember these positive reasons. Weighing out a decision is not easy, but neither is presenting your idea.
“Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” — Frederick Wilcox