A business incubator is a support structure for business creation projects. What are its missions? What is its mode of operation? Which companies can integrate it? We take stock.
What is a business incubator?
The mission of a business incubator is towelcome project leaders, business creators and young entrepreneurs by providing them with resources and tools they need to carry out their projects. These can be resources financial but also of skillsstrategic advice, accommodation or logistical resources. An incubator is often specialized in one area of activity, such as health, biotechnologies, agri-food, artificial intelligenceetc.
It is different from an incubator, intended to welcome project leaders prior to the creation of the companyand D’a business incubator, which for its part welcomes projects that have already been implemented. In any case, this type of structure plays an essential role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. There are several forms: public incubators, business incubators, local authority incubators or large business incubators.
How does a business incubator work?
The purpose of an incubator is to maximize the chances of success of the companies it has within it. These are supported over the medium term for a variable period (one year or more on average). In detail, incubator support is divided into three segments: the sharing of experience between incubated companies, the advice of specialists (coaching sessions, individual and group interviews, training, etc.) and the provision of means (premises, IT tools, meeting rooms, etc.). Thus, project promoters benefit from an adequate working environment, while having the possibility of fight against isolation.
It should be noted that an incubator can also offer accounting or legal support, with advice on intellectual property issues or assistance in raising funds. Nevertheless, the services vary from one structure to another. Business incubators do not always have to be remunerated, but when this is not the case, they often ask for percentages or partnerships thereafter.
How to join an incubator?
If the project leaders who wish to join an incubator are numerous, places are rare. In order to optimize your chances, you must obviously choose your incubator according to the specificities of the structure and your project. Its resources must be able to meet your expectations, and vice versa. Both parties must find their account. Also opt for an incubator which, geographically, will allow you to grow professionally. Once done, you will need to prepare a solid file.
The selection is generally done in two stages: a pre-selection on file, followed by a pitch in front of a committee in order to explain and defend your project. The criteria used to choose a project are plural: background as a project leader, sector of activity, progress of the project, development potential, support from other structures such as banks or public subsidies, etc. It’s your turn !
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