There are incubators of all kinds. There are some dedicated to sports or finTech. There are paid and less expensive ones, even “free” ones. International and national ones. How do you choose? We want to be your scout. The purpose of this article is to give you a clear opinion of the types of incubators. I am sure you would want to know the personality of your partner before you marry her or him. We are going to draw up a portrait of your suitors.
What is an Incubator ?
An incubator is a support structure for projects and companies. In an incubator, your idea comes out of your mind and comes to life in the real world. The incubator accommodates, advises, trains and connects project leaders with the actors necessary for the growth of their project.
But there are several kinds of incubators. We distinguish generic incubators from sectorial incubators. These are the ways in which incubators welcome startups. And within these two families, there are public, corporate and school incubators.
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For example, there may be a generic corporate incubator, or a sectoral school incubator.
What matters to them is that the startup is a good project that makes sense. It’s their potential for realization, the project holders and their ability to carry out their project that interests them. They are looking for relevance.
The advantages of these incubators is their diversity. You are immersed in a world where you can meet people from different backgrounds and fields.
The disadvantage is that these structures are looking for highly disruptive projects, which makes it difficult to access to the less disruptive but equally relevant projects.
Sectoral incubators have the same selection criteria as generics. But to that it adds the criteria of the sector. These ones, only welcome startups in their sector of specialization.
The advantages lies in the accompaniment which will be done in a more precise way. You will be accompanied on the marketing but also on the technicality of your project. In these types of incubators, the fablab or the workshop to set up a model of the project are already integrated.
Public incubators are open to all. They are self-financed by their owner but they can also be financed by the state. Their characteristic is that they have no link with a particular company or they do not host according to a particular education of the project leaders.
They are created by companies and recruit startups in their sector of activity. By incubating these startups, the company builds partnerships. It is a strategie of the company to keep an eye on its sector. It is also to bring the startups to fill a technological or innovation gap in the sector.
School incubators are created by schools of higher education. They are intended for student entrepreneurs who during their studies want to create a startup or are project leaders.
How to choose your incubator
Now that you know your suitors, you have to make a choice. You can choose according to the following criteria:
- The nature of your project will help you make your choice between a generic or sectoral incubator. If you are developing an application for healthcare professionals, it will be preferable to go to an incubator that has made it its specialty.
- Price is undoubtedly the selection criterion not to be missed as incubators are not free. Those who offer free incubation take in exchange a minority share of your startup.
- The network will guarantee the quality of your incubator. Seek to ensure the expertise of the members of its network and its influence in the sphere of the startup.