The Networked Incubator evolution

How the Networked Incubator is the ultimate platform for online startups

Networked Incubator

Networked Incubator

A networked incubator is a type of business incubator model which is uniquely suited to growing businesses in the Internet economy. The networked incubator has some features in common with other incubators such as fostering and promoting a spirit of entrepreneurship and offers economies of scale. The unique feature of a networked incubator is its ability to give startups preferential access to a network of potential partners. Networked incubators are only now beginning to emerge because of the critical need of access, for entrepreneurs and potential partners, and to make connections which can help quickly launch businesses, increase the traffic at online businesses and speed the diffusion of new technologies.

What does a Networked Incubator do?

Networked incubators can help so many entrepreneurs who are chasing so few potential partners, all of whom are extremely busy. A networked incubator provides immeasureable value to a start-up teams by:

  • Making connections that help forge crucial strategic partnerships
  • Enabling the sourcing and recruitment of highly talented people
  • Providing important advice from outside experts on a wide range of business specific topics.
  • Fast-tracking the positive progress of startups by availing of the products and services already setup and targeted at incubatees
  • Expansion and scalability opportunities by leveraging on the networked incubator connections internationally

Two main characteristics of a Networked Incubator

1: The networking within the networked incubators are institutionalised, meaning that the incubator has mechanisms in place that foster networking.

  • Advisory boards of external experts committed to helping incubatees are already established.
  • Partnerships with strong local companies in various countries can be utilised to allow business operations to use those connections to forge marketing deals.

2: The networking within a networked incubator leads to preferential access as opposed to preferential treatment.

  • Preferential access means being able to call a meeting and receive the full attention of busy influential experts. However, this preferential access does not guarantee results but it does allow marketplace efficiencies to dictate decisions.

Advantages of Networked Incubators

A networked incubator provides enhanced network access to key business partners, making such organisations especially effective for growing startups in the new economy. The main advantages of networked incubators can be summarised as follows:

  1. Scale and scope: Leveraging size and reach of a networked incubator plays a large part in helping to lower costs and save time as it pools the available resources and spreads them across business units.
  2. Entrepreneurial drive: It is imperative to maintain focus and stimulate entrepreneurs to pursue risky and disruptive innovations without having to become entangled in bureaucratic red tape which is what the networked incubator allows. Plus entrepreneurs own much more equity in their ventures.
  3. Network access: In order to forge valuable partnerships, obtain relevant expert advice and recruit the best people, a networked incubator is very organised and active among portfolio companies and strategic partners.


By taking advantage of the institutionalised networking within a networked incubator, more scalable networking benefits are achieved.  These networked incubators provide value through preferential network access while fostering entrepreneurial drive and offering economies of scale. Neither large established corporations, nor venture capitalists consistently provide all three characteristics. A well-designed networked incubators are uniquely poised to nurture and grow developing online businesses.

If you are a business owner, entrepreneur or manage a small to medium size enterprise and want to avail of networked incubator help and advice, then contact eCubation today for a FREE consultation.