Business incubators are specially designed programs to help young startups innovate and grow. They usually provide workspaces, mentorship, education and access to investors for startups or sole entrepreneurs. These resources allow companies and ideas to take shape while operating at a lower cost during the early stages of business incubation. Incubators require an application process to join and usually require a commitment for a specific amount of time.
EXAMPLES OF BUSINESS INCUBATORS
Business incubators have been around since the 1950s. Since then, they have evolved into many forms. While there are several types of incubators, they all share the common goal of promoting growth. Here are a few kinds you may find while searching for incubator programs:
- Academic institutions: Many business incubators are run by universities or have academic affiliations. Some programs work with university students, while others accept cohorts of young companies.
- Non-profit development corporations: Both non-profit and government agencies use incubators to stimulate economic development. These programs may specifically accept companies geared toward public welfare.
- For-profit property development ventures: Larger corporations develop many incubators for various purposes. These programs may be an investment opportunity or a way to fund subsidiaries, develop technology or find partnerships.
- Venture capital firms: Some venture capital firms establish incubators as an investment opportunity. These incubators may invest in startups in exchange for equity or offer funding further along in the program.