One way that many are attempting to get their startup businesses off the ground is by entering into a relationship with an incubator. Startup incubators provide an easy way for fledgling businesses to get the support they need as they try to get up and running, helping with everything from financing to networking. If you think an incubator might be the best choice for your startup business, here are seven that you should look into:
We might as well begin in the city that’s perhaps best known for incubators and the tech industry: San Francisco, Calif. As you might expect, some heavy hitters run this incubator, with people who’ve worked for BitTorrent and MySpace at the helm. With that kind of backing, it’s also got the amenities to match, providing everything from accelerator programs to co-working space.
This incubator is based in Philadelphia and provides a relatively modest investment as compared to other incubators on this list – a company receives $5,000, with an additional $5,000 allotted to each of the company’s founders. In return, a company is expected to offer DreamIt Ventures a 6 percent stake.
Based in Mountain View, Calif., 500 Startups may be one of the better-known incubators on this list. The companies that are accepted into its incubator program get a substantial investment of $50,000 in exchange for an equity stake. In addition to the investment, companies also get access to mentors who have knowledge and experience in a wide variety of fields.
The tech industry isn’t just concentrated in California; it’s spreading everywhere. This incubator happens to be based in Dallas, Tex., a city that’s perhaps better known for its involvement in the oil and natural gas industry. Well, Texans are forward-thinking people, and this incubator may offer just what your startup needs.
If you’re looking for a short-term incubator situation, then this one could be ideal. It’s based in Times Square in New York City and provides the businesses that use it with a $25,000 investment and three months in its office space. Several startups have moved through this incubator, and more than a few have found success.
Austin, Texas, is becoming a veritable hotbed for startups, and Capital Factory is one of the best incubators operating there. Each company that works with Capital Factory gets a $20,000 investment and has continuous access to some incredibly knowledgeable mentors. In exchange, the company must give Capital Factory a 5 percent stake.
The best time of year to be in Chicago is during the summer. That’s when this incubator runs a 12-week program for aspiring entrepreneurs, providing $25,000 in seed money in exchange for a 6 percent stake. At the end of the program, companies in the program have the chance to pitch a room full of investors.
Do Your Research
Incubators are everywhere, and not just in the major cities. If you’re considering going this route with your company, be sure to find an incubator that can offer you the support that you need – not just monetarily, but in terms of industry expertise as well. After all, you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth in terms of the equity you’re going to be giving up!