5 things to do before applying for an incubator

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Incubation centers across the globe attract entrepreneurs and startup companies in large numbers.  A vast majority of entrepreneurs prefer incubation services for their security and growth opportunity. They apply in huge numbers for the few spots available, therefore finding it hard to make the cut.

Here’s what you need to check off your list before you apply for an incubation center.

1.Research well
Not all incubation centers are the same. Every incubation center offers a different and essential resource.  Hence, it is very important to understand your business needs. Your primary focus should be on finding the right suit and not the best one.  There are various aspects to look into while finalizing your list. A few key factors are:

A) Mentors: Every incubation service agency has a set of in-house mentors who act as faculty or team members once you enroll. Always check if the existing team is capable of handling the business and guiding you through the journey.

B) Location: It is always preferable to relocate to the center itself. This not only gives you an opportunity to avail their services but also helps build your network internally. Check if the place of business can help you shine and grow.

2.Check with their Alumni
Every incubation center will give you a list of their success stories. It is advisable that you check with each of them to understand the incubation agency’s strengths and weaknesses. A few things you can enquire about are:

A) Request them to rate their experience.
B) Ask them to state a few challenges they faced during their term.
C) Enquire about the work culture.

3.Get people on board
Most incubation services look for strong teams that can walk the talk. Make sure you have assembled a talented and versatile team before you enroll.  Most startups that go through the incubation journey undergo a major vertical transition in terms of business model, financial status, and feasibility. Therefore, the team may also go through the same process, making it mandatory to have the right people in place to withstand the transformation period.

4.Prepare to woo
Your pitch is the most important part of the enrollment process. A well-crafted pitch is what sets you apart from others in the race. Most incubation agencies look for doer’s rather than winners. Make sure you present your idea well and are prepared to answer few hard-hitting questions. The idea behind this process is to test your dedication and understand what you have in mind for the business. This helps the incubation center decide if you are a liability or an asset.

5.Decide what’s at stake
It is crucial to realize that most incubators will accept your application at the cost of equity in your business. Prior decisions on how much you are willing to give up while climbing the ladder of success need to be made. Make sure you are prepared to negotiate and stick to your point during the discussion. Getting into incubation would also mean starting your journey as an entrepreneur. This will bring about a solid change to your priorities. If not prepared well, you might lose out on an opportunity to convert your idea into a startup. There are chances you might get into a wrong agency and waste time as well as money from both sides. So, do your homework efficiently and use the services of an incubation center completely.

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