4 Major Benefits Of Startup Incubators

Hofstra University’s state-of-the-art ideaHUb offers a world class, modern facility and supports the growth of early stage companies through business development programs, mentorship, a Maker Space, technical assistance and educational programs. The Manufacturing Incubator at Tech Valley Center of Gravity provides expert coaching and incubation across industries, advisory services and support for product-related startups. For clients launching entrepreneurial ventures, we offer resources for product development through the Prototyping Center, with its advanced manufacturing equipment and flexible workspace. Look for an incubator that gives your business access to benefits that can accelerate your business, including Office space and services, mentoring, experience, influenceand sometimes capital. Incubators can also offer business development programs, such as workshops and discussions.

The ultimate goal of the process is to determine the viability of a startup’s idea and the ability of the company’s management team to realize the idea. Of those incubators in existence in the late 1990s, about 70 percent were maintained by economic development agencies or local government agencies. These organizations use incubators as a tool to boost regional economic growth or blunt the impact of big lay-offs and other bad economic news in the region. These programs exist in a wide variety of demographic regions, from rural areas to urban settings. Business incubation programs are often sponsored by private companies or municipal entities and public institutions, such as colleges and universities. Their goal is to help create and grow young businesses by providing them with necessary support and financial and technical services.

Business incubators are business assistance programs that provide entrepreneurs with an inexpensive start-up environment and a range of administrative, consulting, and networking services. In essence these programs—which may be managed by economic development agencies, local governments, for-profit businesses, or colleges and universities—serve as homes for new companies. “They offer low-cost space, shared equipment, and the comradeship of fellow entrepreneurs,” wrote Richard Steffens in Planning. In addition, the world’s increasingly technology-driven economy has spawned new wrinkles in the incubator concept in recent years, such as Internet incubators and incubator-like arrangements within existing companies. Business incubators help new businesses and startups work through these challenges in an innovative program that promotes business development, learning and cost savings. Entrepreneurs may benefit from being a part of the mentorship, training and motivation provided by these programs.

Look for an incubator that will give your business access to benefits that can help accelerate your business, including office space and services, mentorship, expertise, influence, and sometimes capital. Incubators may also offer business development programming such as workshops and panel discussions. In 1980, there were only 12 startup incubators in the entire country, today the number exceeds 1,250 and continues to grow. Some incubators, like Y Combinator and TechStars, were started by successful entrepreneurs wishing to help the next generation learn from their experiences.

Early incubator programs first appeared in the Northeast in the late 1950s and early 1960s. But programs similar to today’s versions did not arrive on the scene until the 1970s and early 1980s. The 1990s saw a surge in incubator creation as statistical and anecdotal evidence of their effectiveness—both for entrepreneurs and the incubators themselves—emerged. The Los Angeles Business Journal Small Business Mentoring , for example, reported in 2000 that companies that launched in incubators remained in business five years later a startling 87 percent of the time, while only 20 percent of all new business startups reached the five-year mark. In the late 1990s, meanwhile, a growing number of for-profit Internet incubators were created in the United States to capitalize on the explosion in e-commerce.