“Stop, collaborate and listen...”
The immortal words of 90s-rapper Vanilla Ice can help us understand why business incubator programs have become so popular, and how they are helping startups achieve success. Incubators facilitate a collaborative process that provides the advice, support, education and skills that entrepreneurs need to develop and grow their business.
Why go it alone when you can have expert help to succeed?
Let’s define what a business incubator does
Business incubators have become increasingly popular - but what are they, and what do they do? A business incubator helps support startups and small businesses, providing a range of specialist advice, expertise and services to help accelerate growth.
Every incubator has its own unique structure, but management training, physical office space, financing, mentorship, networking and peer support are commonly offered. Starting a company can be lonely work, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Overcome “overwhelm” and turn your business dream into reality
Business incubator programs provide a professional support network for startups and entrepreneurs; the perfect antidote to “overwhelm”. If you have the seeds of an idea that you wish to turn into a business, incubators can provide access to mentoring, skills training, networking opportunities and peer support.
Incubator programs help participants avoid the common pitfalls that come with starting a new business, providing a framework for education and feedback.
Learn from experts and your peers
“Learn from my mistakes and you don’t have to make them yourself”. One of the main benefits of incubator programs is that you get to learn from other people’s mistakes, sharing the journey with a group of your peers and receiving wisdom from experts who have already been through the process of starting their own business.
Who uttered these sage words of advice? Steve Jobs? Elon Musk? Cheryl Sandberg?
(You’ll never guess… it was our wise friend Vanilla Ice again).
Make mistakes before it’s too late
But let’s not give the impression that mistakes are all bad - they are also opportunities for learning and growth. Incubators are great because they allow you to experiment, explore ideas and make mistakes before you’ve invested too much time and money into your venture. This gives you the space to be flexible, so you can see where changes to your initial idea might need to be made within a supported process of trial and error.
Develop your business idea
Do you have a burning desire to start your own business, but not sure how to take the first steps? Incubators provide the perfect space for you to overcome overwhelm and develop your passion into a viable business model, with the help of expert facilitators. Incubators offer a clearly defined pathway through which you can establish your business, from concept to launch and through the early stages of development.
Resolve unforeseen challenges
Life is always throwing new challenges at us, and sometimes we never see them coming. A good mentor can be a valuable asset in the early stages of startup development. The beauty of incubators is that having the support of someone with an objective external viewpoint can help you identify and address any unforeseen challenges that come your way. They can also connect you with the help you need.
Famous incubator success stories… will you launch the next big thing?
There are thousands of incubator success stories. You might recognise these two company names, both of which are graduates of Y Combinator’s incubator program.
If you’ve ever booked a short-term accommodation through Airbnb - or if you’ve ever hosted your own property - you’ve been part of an incubator success story. Now a global phenomenon, Airbnb launched from Y Combinator’s incubator program as a startup.
File-hosting service Dropbox is another incubator success story. Within the last decade they have gone from a few software tools to dozens of popular apps, communication channels and project management systems - changing the way we all work.
What does your success story look like?
All of these companies started as a simple idea; nothing more than a burning desire in the minds of their creator to start something new.
What does your dream look like, and what do you need to help it turn into a reality?
These are the questions that inspire us, and it’s the reason why we have started the Emporium Creative Hub Incubator Program. We’re partnering with Bendigo creatives to make their business dreams come true - we’d love to share the journey with you.