The Best Startup Incubators Now
Startup incubators, by definition, are organisations that accelerate and systematise the process of creating successful enterprises by providing them with a comprehensive and integrated range of support. By providing potential clients with services on a ‘one-stop-shop’ basis and enabling overheads to be shared amongst the startups being incubated, startup incubators significantly improve the survival and growth prospects of businesses. However, successful startup incubators generate a steady flow of new businesses with above average job and wealth creation potential. Differences in startup incubators admission and exit criteria, the knowledge intensity of projects and the precise configuration of facilities and services will distinguish the various different types of startup incubators from each other. But what are the most effective ways that startup incubators can grow and develop businesses?
Why Evaluate Startup Incubators?
New/existing business owners and entrepreneurs naturally want to take their business idea from inception to commercialisation in the most efficient yet productively beneficial path available to them. When these business owners and/or entrepreneurs approach startup incubators, they need to know how to evaluate these startup incubators and to decide which criteria best fits their needs in order for their business to be successful. With so many startup incubators in existence with different service/product offerings, what’s the best way to decipher between them? What selection criteria should be used? How should their product/service offering be evaluated?
Selection Criteria Categories for Startup Incubators
All startup incubators have their own features and benefits but they can typically be categorised under the following main headings:
- Provision of Physical Space: The number and type of incubator units together with the location and type of incubator premises largely determines startup costs for individual businesses who could potentially be incubated there.
- Number and Type of Startup Companies: The number and type of tenants provides a basis for classifying startup incubators (e.g. technology centre will typically have more than 75% of its clients engaged in knowledge-intensive activities) whilst information on the performance of tenants provides the basis for assessing incubator efficacy.
- Range and Pricing of Business Support Services: The provision of a comprehensive range of busines support services is a defining characteristic of the startup incubators model. These can be grouped into four categories – entrepreneurship training, business advice, technology and innovation support and financing of companies.
- Admission and Exit Criteria: The existence of formal admission and exit criteria are a defining characteristic of the type of startup incubators which will be applicable to a specific business such as the length of time that tenants remain in the incubator etc.
- Performance of Start-up Incubators Tenants, Job and Wealth Creation: The success/failure rate of incubator tenants is widely used as a short-term measure of their performance whilst job and wealth creation indicators provide an insight to longer term impacts.
- Value Added of Incubator Operations: The performance of startup incubators needs to be based on an assessment of the value added they demonstrate i.e. the extent to which the performance of client companies can be attributed to the support obtained from the incubator.
Comparing Generic Startup Incubators to eCubation’s Online Business Incubation Solution
Now that the criteria for evaluating startup incubators has been established, it’s easy to compare the offering of generic startup incubators to that offered by eCubation. It can be summarised as follows;
- Provision of Physical Space: Since eCubation is an online business incubator, there are no geographical restrictions on where a company must be based to avail of its comprehensive range of services. This means that startup costs for individual businesses which could potentially be incubated are greatly reduced.
- Number and Type of Start-up Companies: eCubation does not differentiate between the number and type of its clients as eCubation builds the online business on behalf of its clients. Information on the performance of each client is provided on a regular basis to the client (as eCubation has performance metrics to hit for each client) and is accessible to the public.
- Range and Pricing of Business Support Services: eCubation provides the most comprehensive range of business specific services available on the web today and these are implemented by eCubation on behalf of the client.
- Admission and Exit Criteria: eCubation does have formal admission and exit criteria which must be adhered to by all parties prior to the initiation of the incubation.
- Performance of Start-up Incubators Tenants, Job and Wealth Creation: Testing, analytics and statistical data are essential in the analysis of a client’s online business performance.
- Value Added of Incubator Operations: The extent to which the performance of client companies can be attributed to the support and services obtained from eCubation is clear since it implements each of the 1,000 business services on the client’s behalf.
Now that you know the selection criteria on how to evaluate the best startup incubators, you can determine the best way startup incubators can grow and develop businesses. It’s up to you to make an informed choice as your business success depends on it. Be aware that choosing the wrong types of startup incubators will cost you time and money, which at this stage of business development is not something you can afford to waste.
If you are a business owner, entrepreneur or manage a small to medium size enterprise and want to establish if eCubation stands out from the other startup incubators, then contact eCubation today for a free consultation.