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What exactly is a Startup Incubator?

As more people have been creating their own businesses as part of the tech startup craze, the number of startup incubators has also increased worldwide. According to a recent study, the US is home to over 1,000 incubators. But, what exactly is a startup incubator? Read on for an explanation.

Startup Incubators, Defined

By definition, a startup incubator is a collaborative program designed to help new startups succeed. Incubators help entrepreneurs solve some of the problems commonly associated with running a startup by providing workspace, seed funding, mentoring, and training (refer list below for a more extensive list of common incubator services). The single purpose of a startup incubator is to help entrepreneurs grow their business.

Generally speaking, startup incubators are non-profit organizations, which are usually run by both public and private entities. Incubators are often associated with universities, and some business schools (such as Asian Business School in Noida, India) allow their students and alumni to take part in these programs. There are many other incubators, however, that are formed by governments, civic groups, startup organizations or successful entrepreneurs.

Although most of the media emphasis focuses on tech startups, incubators aren’t just limited to one industry. In fact, the focus of incubators varies by region. To quote the earlier mentioned research study conducted in USA – North Carolina, for example, is home to five incubator farms. Considering the strength of its restaurant and fashion industries, NYC is home to several incubators for both food and fashion. Besides, there are also all-purpose incubators that consider all kinds of startups, regardless of industry.

While many people associate business incubators with the tech boom, this is really not a new concept. In fact, according to the above cited study again, the first startup incubator – the Batavia Industrial Center — was formed in 1959. The Batavia Industrial Center was founded in response to Batavia, NY’s high unemployment rate and as a way to repurpose a vacant industrial building. Given the origins of the business incubator, it certainly makes sense that the concept is making a huge comeback during the time of the Great Recession.

What are the Most Common Startup Incubator Services?

Presented below is a list of the most common services provided by business incubators:

  • Help with business basics
  • Networking opportunities
  • Marketing assistance
  • High-speed Internet access
  • Accounting/financial management assistance
  • Access to bank loans, loan funds & guarantee programs
  • Help with presentation skills
  • Connections to higher education resources
  • Connections to strategic partners
  • Access to angel investors or venture capital
  • Comprehensive business training programs
  • Advisory boards & mentors
  • Management team identification
  • Help with business etiquette
  • Technology commercialization assistance
  • Help with regulatory compliance
  • Intellectual property management & legal counsel

About ‘Entrepreneurship Development and Incubation Centre (EDIC)’ at Asian Business School, Noida

As stated earlier, incubators are often associated with universities, and some business schools (such as Asian Business School in Noida, India) allow their students and alumni to take part in these programs. Here, it would be relevant to throw some light on the dedicated ‘Incubation Centre’ – better known as ‘Entrepreneurship Development and Incubation Centre (EDIC)’ – available at Asian Business School, Noida.

Asian Business School believes in fostering an entrepreneurial mindset among its PGDM students and for this purpose it has established the ‘Entrepreneurship Development and Incubation Centre (EDIC)’. EDIC aims to enable the students to be more creative and self-confident in taking rational risk in starting an enterprise and encourage innovative business start-ups and facilitate them through research and consultancy. EDIC conducts Entrepreneurship Development Programmes for developing entrepreneurial skills enabling students to take up entrepreneurship as a career choice. It also organizes guest lectures, Awareness Campaigns, Seminars & Workshops, Quizzes and Business Plan Competitions for entrepreneurship development.

The dedicated ‘Incubation Centre’ at ABS assists entrepreneurs with documentation, marketing and recruitment as well as in conducting survey on entrepreneurial opportunities, industry requirements and market potential of the region. Moreover, it also provides ‘Seed Funding’ to Start ups from students of Asian Business School.

Thus, the incubation centre of EDIC facilitates the complete start up process for all students of ABS who are interested in starting their own venture.