Start-up incubators are structures to support the creation of companies or development projects. They allow the follow-up of the entrepreneur throughout his entrepreneurial project.
The mission of the incubators is to welcome project leaders, business creators and young entrepreneurs, providing them with useful resources and tools to develop their businesses. Each incubator is different and therefore offers services that vary. is important meet your incubator, because most of them specialize in a specific field of activity. The purpose of these structures is to maximize a company’s chances of success. Not to be confused with startup studios and accelerators.
What are the different types of incubator?
There are a total of 6 different types of incubators:
- Public incubators, or Allègre are supported by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. The latter were created following the Law on Innovation and Research, instituted in 1999. These incubators are specialized in specific sectors of activity, such as health or digital technology. The incubated startup projects must be linked to a public research laboratory. However, there are multisectoral incubators, which welcome start-ups that work in different areas.
- private incubators they are often created on the initiative of former entrepreneurs, investors or professional associations. The objective is to guarantee profitability, sharing knowledge and experience. These private incubators are more likely to be specialized in a specific sector. Fees vary according to the structure, the latter being able to have company status or association status.
- Incubators linked to Grandes Ecoles they are structures created on the initiative of a Grande Ecole. Among those institutions that have created their own incubator, we can mention HEC, ESSEC, Polytechnique or Business School. Some work with specialized frameworks. This type of incubator is accessible only by students or alumni of the school. If the project already involves several people, at least one of the project leaders must be enrolled in the school.
- local government incubators depend on a region or a metropolis and aim to contribute to the attractiveness and economic and even social development of their territory. The objective is to create and/or develop innovative companies in different sectors in a specific geographical area.
- Large business incubators are marked by digital transformation. Internal company structures are created to support the growth of start-ups. Business incubators mostly focus on the pre-creation part like the file setup or the administrative part. The objective of the companies is to be able to create a synergy with the incubated companies. As in all incubators, the financial contribution is characterized by the acquisition of a stake in the capital of the start-up.
- The CEEI (European Business and Innovation Centre) aim to support innovative projects and promote the creation of wealth for the development of the territory. These are structures of public interest established at local level.
It is essential for choose the right type of incubator before embarking on your entrepreneurial adventure. Some incubators will be better suited to the project of creating a particular start-up than others.
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What are the missions of an incubator?
Depending on the incubator, the services offered to startups vary. There is no real obligation on the part of these structures, but they closely support start-ups so that the entrepreneurial project succeeds and flourishes. Among the various supports that an incubator can offer, we can mention:
- custom support by one or more incubators
- Access to a community of former incubated members
- The intervention of specialists in several specific domains
- Accommodation at a price many times below the current market price
- a connection with investors, experts, partners, target customers or even beta testers
- Provision of equipment, services and technologies useful for carrying out the creation or business development project
- a financial contribution which is characterized by a stake in the capital of the start-up.
There are certainly other types of services offered by incubators, but those mentioned above are the most common.
How to integrate an incubator?
Most incubators require an application file of start-ups in order to make your selection. Once the selections are made, the project leaders will have to make a pitch to convince the incubator to take them under its wing. To find an incubator, Several networks can help entrepreneurs:
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- There are web directories to help entrepreneurs find an incubator near them.
- La French Tech has partner accelerators and incubators of the French Tech Tremplin program.
- Depending on the region of deployment, several local networks provide incubators ready to support developing start-ups. In Paris, we can mention the famous Station F incubator.
Incubators are a great help for start-ups that need support. Globally recognized companies today straight from the incubator and were successful in their bet to develop their company.