7 Benefits of a Business Incubator
How has being part of a business incubator or accelerator helped grow your business?
To help entrepreneurs decide if — and which — business incubator is right for their startup, we asked leaders from business incubators and fellow entrepreneurs this question for their best advice. From reducing starting costs to benefitting from collective wisdom, there are several insights that may help you determine if your business idea can benefit and grow from an incubator.
Here are seven reasons to join a business incubator and several programs to consider:
- Reduce Startup Costs
- Feel the Startup Energy
- Enhance Business Operations
- Make Connections and Get Clarity
- Follow the Formula and Listen to New Ideas
- Access Mentors and Professional Networks
- Benefit From Collective Wisdom
Reduce Startup Costs
Being part of Startup Tucson’s educational and networking programs helps solve some of the major challenges founders face — getting started, staying motivated, and avoiding costly mistakes. At Startup Tucson, companies are surrounded by peers and expert mentors.
Through one-to-one support, we help build a roadmap for launching and scaling up. We also have a ton of resources like a prototyping studio and a content creation studio, which can help reduce startup costs.
The best part? Our services are free or very low cost, which makes entrepreneurship accessible to the entire community. So if someone is looking to start up a company, our Startup Labs course is the best place to begin your journey!
Angelique Aubrahm McBee, Startup Tucson
Feel the Startup Energy
Startup energy is something that’s stronger than coffee. While you can’t bottle it up, you can find that energy in business incubators. I’ve been a part of Arizona State’s business incubator program, and have participated in several Startup Weekend events. The benefits of participating in events and programs for me personally has been the urgency. When you find the urgency, the energy can prompt a team to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
Enhance Business Operations
Being a part of the Rosie Network’s Service2CEO program provided me with the support needed to enhance my business operations. Throughout this program, I developed my mission statement, improved my branding, understood the legal ramifications of business, and the importance of social media. The Service2CEO program also provided the opportunity to reach out to mentors who could guide me in growing my business.
Annette Harris, Harris Financial Coaching
Make Connections and Get Clarity
For fledgling businesses and early-stage entrepreneurs, connections and clarity are invaluable. Being part of a business incubator or accelerator can provide companies with connections to experts in any given field and the space to gain clarity on goals, business strategy, and the roadmap to execution.
As a venture mentor and board member for SEED Spot, I have seen firsthand the power of an objective external voice to lend expertise and leverage insight while opening a network of potential funders, advisors, and promoters. For entrepreneurs who need guidance on how to launch, grow, and scale, being part of an incubator or accelerator can be wildly impactful.
Sentari Minor, evolvedMD
Follow the Formula and Listen to New Ideas
When I was building my startup, being a part of Y Combinator’s Startup School offered structure and knowledge to me that I couldn’t find elsewhere. As a founder, it’s typical to learn a lot on the fly and to do it alone. In this startup school, I was given access to not only a lot of valuable information, but also people in the same place as me.
My advice for anyone going through a startup school: follow the formula and use the steps in the program to build and sprint. Take advantage of the knowledge of the people in the (virtual) room with you. They are all smart, talented people with unique ideas, too!
Jade Waterman, Global Partnership Development Lead
Access Mentors and Professional Networks
The access to mentors and professional networks has been a game-changer for us. The JPMorgan-Tampa Bay Wave TechWomen Rising Program in 2020 has helped us build our team and refine our investor’s pitch.
The Venture City’s Product-Led Growth Program was product-focused and informative on PLG, which is part of our growth strategy.
The Zane Access Capital Readiness Program was an amazing opportunity to meet venture capitalists every week in the 10-week program in 2021. The feedback we received helped us dig deep into ourselves and our customer’s personal cloud storage problems.
We are now focused on military families, which has been rewarding and the community has been amazing. There are many benefits incubators and accelerators can help in growing tech start-ups, but the main benefit for us is access to professional networks and mentors.
Carolyn Eagen, Kinstak
Benefit From Collective Wisdom
Startups and seasoned juggernaut executives alike can secure an extraordinary advantage with membership to the right incubator, accelerator, and peer advisory groups. For several decades I’ve founded, led, trained and served as speaker or participant to programs such as growth10, Vistage, TEC, several chambers of commerce and a wealth of private groups through my own practice.
The collective wisdom, fresh perspective, BOD-type support, group accountability, expansion of COI, confidentiality, and optimization of lifelong learning are all key to program success. The groups I run today hold our program and its members accountable to the question "Was my time well spent today in this program?" Case studies, business changes, and kinesthetic learning are integrated into best takeaways.
Jessica Ollenburg, Ollenburg LLC
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