I Would Like To Be In Your Nest
Bangalore: It is not just like a match made in heaven. Entrepreneurs with great ideas, but lack of capital and experience meet with an accelerator or incubator to provide them with low-cost space and startup services along with knowledgeable experts to mentor them through. Incubators provide them support and a community to build a stronger business environment and more jobs.
But will you join any incubation center that you come across? What are the essential things that the startups should know about incubation centers before joining them? Two things make a difference between success and failure for an entrepreneur: a winning idea and a person or team who can take it from concept to reality. And incubators are the persons who is pivotal to the second role. “As a startup, it helps to have an idea about areas it needs mentorship/guidance/support on. If its business-take an incubation that is well connected and has mentors who have business or leadership background,” says Amarendra Sahu, Co-Founder and CEO, BrizzTV, an incubatee in the NSRCELL of IIM-Bangalore.
The incubators have years of experience that makes it easy for them to determine when a plan and a person are likely to succeed. An incubator needs a team in place with entrepreneurial experience that can recognize the potential for success along with understanding what needs to happen to get a business launched. On the other hand, an entrepreneur should opt for such incubation center that supports their kind of idea. For example, if you are a technology entrepreneur, you should opt for an incubator that can add value with its tech people. On top of these, it further helps if the incubator in addition to the usual mentoring process invests money or helps the startup to raise fund from angel and seed investors. “This is a credible signal of increased interest,” adds Sahu.
Before joining an incubation center, startups should meet few mentors and have a deep interaction with the existing and ex- incubatees of the centers to know the hidden trauma if any. Few incubation centers have an entire enrollment process starting from pitching the idea to joining it finally. But some incubation centers just go with the scalability of the idea. The support provided by the incubation center also differs accordingly. Infrastructure and mentorship are the usual support that every incubation center provides. But startups should look in for the added value that joining them would bring for the entrepreneurs, such as industry connection, funds, public relations, and several others. As a startup, you have to choose what is most crucial for you.
People notice you, they listen to you. It brings discipline, gives comfort to families of founders and co-founders. Incubation centers are like libraries. It has immense resources but it works for you only when you invest time and ask for it. Talking about the difference that NSRCELL brought into his organization, Sahu says, “A lot! They invested with us at a stage when others would have found it difficult. Their seed money helped us build our prototype, travel to meet prospective clients, employ few engineers. Above all - it feels great when someone from the incubation center stature stands by you. Those helping hands made us fight even harder.”
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