The rise of the startup scene, especially in areas like technology and software, has led to a boom in early-stage startup incubators. A business incubator helps new startup companies develop by providing services such as management, training, or office space. These startup incubators aid startup companies with a great idea and high potential to grow. They help them both financially and mentally. Let’s learn what makes up a startup incubator and the top incubators around the world.
An organization made to assist startup businesses in their growth is known as a startup incubator. A Startup incubator does this by offering free or low-cost workspace, mentorship, expertise, access to investors, and working capital. One can provide the working capital to a company in the form of investment, loan, or convertible debt. All you have to do is work around other businesses, often with a similar focus to yours. You can learn from others and gain valuable insight into how to build up your startup. You have to apply, get accepted, and then set a schedule to meet benchmarks set by the incubator, which is usually a span of one or two years.
How do incubators help startups?
Startup incubators start with companies or single entrepreneurs that may be earlier in the process and do not work on a set schedule. Suppose an accelerator is a greenhouse for young plants to grow in optimal conditions; an incubator matches quality seeds with the most suitable soil for sprouting and germination. Many independent incubators are also sponsored or run. There are some incubators that have an application process. However, others only work with businesses and ideas that they come in contact with through trusted partners.
Contingent upon the party, an incubator can be centred around a particular market or vertical. For instance, an incubator who is supported by a medical clinic may only be looking for health technology startups. New businesses that are accepted into incubator programs migrate to a particular geographic region to work with different organizations in the incubator. Inside the incubator, an organization will refine its idea, work on its business strategy, product-market fit, discover intellectual property issues, and network in the startup environment.
In the event that you require private space, most incubators have open seating, and this can be diverting for bigger groups. Financial matters are generally on a per-seat basis, which is excellent for the first few individuals, however, at one point it could be more affordable to get your own office. Both incubators and accelerators offer an extraordinary chance to help new startups get headed in the right direction, yet it’s dependent upon you where you need to begin.
When should a startup approach incubators?
A business can have a brilliant idea that solves a real problem or has excellent utility, but making money from it is a different game altogether. Often, young entrepreneurs struggle to execute their business plans and commercialize the idea as most do not have a business background. This is where the role of an incubator comes to play.
In case you are an early-stage startup still in its bootstrapping phase, incubators make perfect sense. Being a part of an incubator may not be ideal for more established startups who have perhaps raised Series A or even an angel round. Many startups have raised some funding and are a part of an incubator as they derive value from it.
Pros and Cons of Startup Incubator
You may have already figured out some of the benefits and drawbacks of a startup incubator. Ensure that an ample amount of research is being carried out before you choose an incubator. Here are some of the pros and cons that can help you out:
- The incubator should offer a free or low-cost workspace that lets you decrease overhead while you grow.
- Incubators provide your company access to benefits that assist in growing your business. These benefits include mentorship, office space and services, influence, expertise, and sometimes capital.
- Incubators also provide business development programmes, such as workshops and panel discussions.
- Ensure that investors trust the incubator to finance the right startups and prepare them for successful businesses. Joining this type of incubator will give you a benefit, especially when you are seeking funding.
- Incubators might have access to office must-haves like administrative support, internet, and production equipment. Office duties vary from program to program.
- The structured environment and curriculum can assist in having a new business keep centred and grow in the right direction.
Many top startup incubators target specific industries like digital education, homeland security, food, and others, and offer targeted resources and expertise. You must ensure and have a clear understanding of what an incubator presents before applying.
Everything has its pros and cons. Like in any group, not all incubators are equal. Some contribute more or better benefits than others. Here are some potential downsides:
- The application process can be meticulous and competitive. For most incubators, an applicant must submit a detailed business plan and publish all business activities.
- There are a number of incubators that need a time engagement of around one to two years, plus adherence to the schedule set by the incubator, which can include many pieces of training and workshops. Yes, you will learn a lot, but you’ll also spend a fair amount of time doing it.
- An incubator offers a professional environment. You can’t simply come and go whenever you want, and you will be answerable to someone other than yourself regarding your progress. A dedicated incubator to your company’s success is probably the best for you.
The benefits of an incubator can be many for the right applicant. Ensure that you dedicate yourself and your business to the program to achieve success.
Choosing a Right Startup Incubator
Picking the best choice from a startup incubator list is a big-time decision, mainly in case you give up substantial time and equity for its resources and expertise. Here’s what you should search for in a business incubator before you pick a program:
- Perks of incubator – The offerings of an incubator must be researched and checked to see if they match your needs. Realize what assets and administrations the organization has. Study the incubator’s guides and consultants to decide whether their aptitude, abilities, and organizations match your business requirements.
- The curriculum of an Incubator – Many incubators need solid training and have strict schedules. Assess the curriculum to ensure it shows what you need to learn for your business to succeed. Also, you can take it all on while still running daily operations.
- Study the track record – Know how other businesses performed with the support of the incubator. You may even call the alumni if possible for their take on the experience, which will guide you whether you are choosing the right incubator or not.
- Cost of the Incubator – Know the cost to use the workspace and the equipment. If applicable, what are the loan terms offered or the percentage of equity the incubator will take? Ensure the cost fits with the sacrifice you are willing to make.
- Location of the Incubator – Joining an incubator is nothing like entering a college program. This is because you will be going to class several times per week, if not every day, you’ll need to be on campus–that is, close to the incubator. This may mean relocating to an incubator if you can’t find the right fit close enough to home.
Top 100 Startup Incubator List
|Entry||Company||Location||Year of formation||Focus|
|1||Y- combinator||United States||2005||Early Stage Funding, Accelerator, Private Equity|
|2||Tech stars||United States||2006||Startup Communities, Accelerators, Mentorship|
|3||500 Start-ups||Silicon Valley||2010||Startup Communities, Technology Startups, VC|
|4||I/O Ventures||San Francisco||2009||Private Equity, VC, Networking|
|5||Dream It Ventures||Philadelphia||2008||Health-Tech, Urban-Tech, VC|
|6||Trans media ventures||San Francisco||2017||VC, Angel Investment, Financial Services|
|7||The Hatchery||New York||2019||Agri-Tech, Food-Tech, Private Equity|
|8||The Brandery||Cincinnati, Ohio||2010||Accelerator, Seed Funding, VC|
|9||Excelerate Labs||Chicago||2015||Business Growth, Business Development, Growth Finance|
|10||Capital Factory||Texas||2009||Co-Working, Funding, Mentorship|
|11||Enterprise Works||University of Illinois||2003||Technology, Innovation, Student Research|
|12||Angel Pad||New York||2010||VC, Entrepreneurship|
|13||NYC Seed Start||New York||2012||Networking, Seed Funding, Mentorship|
|14||Summer @ Highland||Lexington, Massachusetts||2007||Mentoring, Office Space, Funding|
|15||Launch Box Digital||North Carolina||2007||VC, Seed Funding, Accelerator|
|16||Ben Franklin TechVentures||Bethlehem, Pennsylvania||1983||Early Stage, Late Stage Venture, Seed|
|17||Tech Wildcatters||Dallas||2009||Technology Startups, Mentorship, Funding|
|18||Launchpad LA||Southern California||2009||Private Equity, VC, Seed|
|19||Start Fast||United States||2011||Tech Startups, Seed, VC|
|20||Communitech Hyperdrive||Ontario, Canada||2012||Robotics, Innovation, Emerging Tech|
|21||Technology Innovation Centre||Evanston, Illinois||2012||Technology, Startups, Incubation, Funding|
|22||Seed camp||Europe||2007||Micro VC, Funding, Seed Funding|
|23||Founder’s Co-op||Seattle||2008||Private Equity, VC, Incubation|
|24||Awesome Inc.||Lexington, Kentucky||2009||Non-Equity Assistance, Incubation, Accelerator|
|25||Launch||United States||2010||Private Equity, Podcasts, VC|
|26||spring 2||Canada||2014||Social Enterprise, Impact Investing, Accelerators|
|27||Anz innovyz start||Australia||2012||VC, Funding, Angel Investment|
|28||Launch vic||Australia||2015||Government Program, Entrepreneur Support|
|29||RCL accelerator||Australia||2012||VC, Funding, Incubation|
|30||Founder’s factory||United Kingdom||2015||Venture Capital, Private Equity|
|31||Village capital||United States||2009||Entrepreneur Support, Investing, and Impact Investing|
|32||Accelerator centre||Canada||2006||Technology Startups, Mentorship,|
|33||Start-up farm||United States||2011||Product Formulation, Planning and Advisory|
|34||Fluidra||Spain||2010||Impact Investing, Startup Funding, Accelerator|
|35||Start-up CA||India||2015||Funding, Incubation|
|36||inQlab||Columbia||2013||Seed Funding, Incubation|
|37||Alpha lab||United States||2017||Early Stage Venture, Seed Funding, Incubation|
|38||Chalmers ventures||Chalmers University of technology Sweden||2015||Early Stage, Seed Funding, Incubation|
|39||The DMZ at Ryerson University||Ryerson University Canada||2010||Accelerator, Incubation, Non Equity Assistance|
|40||IPN Incubadora||University of Coimbra, Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra,Portugal||2002||Co-Working, Funding, Mentorship|
|41||İTÜ Çekirdek||Istanbul Technical University,Turkey||2011||Sustainability Programs, Funding|
|42||PoliHub - Innovation District & Startup Accelerator||Politecnico di Milano,Italy||2013||Deep-Tech, Open Innovation, Incubation|
|43||Red de Incubadoras de la Universidad del Valle de Mexico||Laureate International Universities,Mexico||2016||Non-Equity Assistance, Acceleration, Incubation|
|44||The SETsquared Partnership||UNITED KINGDOM||2001||Student Enterprise, Technology Transfer|
|45||University of Toronto Entrepreneurship||University of Toronto,Canada||2019||Funding Platform, Accelerator|
|46||UtrechtInc||Netherlands||2016||Community, Mentorship, Incubation|
|47||YES!Delft||Netherlands||2005||Clean-Tech, Bio-Tech, Smart Energy|
|48||Auge UCR||Universidad de Costa Rica||2012||Lean Startup, Design Thinking, Innovation|
|49||Centech||École de technologie supérieure,Canada||1996||Non-Profit, Incubation, Entrepreneurship|
|50||Studio G at Arrowhead Center||United states||2010||Venture Capital, Private Equity|
|51||Codebase||Edinburgh, Stirling & Aberdeen, Scotland||2014||Technology, Web, Investments|
|52||SeedRocket||Barcelona & Madrid, Spain||2008||Private Equity, Acceleration, Funding|
|53||Conector Startup Accelerator||Madrid, Barcelona, Mallorca & Galicia, Spain||2013||Internet, E-Commerce, VC Funding|
|54||Decelera||Menorca, Spain & Mayakoba, Mexico||2014||Second Time Entrepreneurs, VC, Funding|
|55||Ace Incubator||Amsterdam, The Netherlands||2008||Venture Mentoring, Science Based Startups, R&D|
|56||UF Innovate (The Hub & Sid Martin Biotech)||Gainesville, FL (The Hub) & Alachua, FL (Sid Martin Biotech)||1995||Bio-Science, R&D, Entrepreneurship|
|57||Matter||Chicago, IL||2014||Bio-Pharma, Healthcare, Life Science|
|58||ATDC Georgia Tech||Atlanta, GA||1980||Bio-Tech, IT, R&D|
|59||WorcLab||Worcester, MA||2016||Non- Profit, Renewable Energy, Incubation|
|60||Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)||Los Angeles, CA||2011||Renewable Energy, Clean-Tech, Waste Management|
|61||The Tech Garden (TTG)||Syracuse, NY||2005||Clean-Tech, Business Development, IT|
|62||University Lab Partners (ULP)||Irvine, CA||2019||Medi-Tech, Incubator|
|63||Yachting Ventures||Fully Remote||2019||Accelerator, Venture Capital, Leisure Marine|
|64||TXD DeepTeck||Kowloon, China||2018||Deep Tech, VC Funding, Private Equity|
|65||Pioneer App||Remote - Virtual incubator||2019||Mentorship, Funding, Online Campus|
|66||InnoSpring Silicon Valley||San Francisco, California||2012||Cross-Border Investment, Incubation, Accelerator|
|67||ShangPharma Innovation Incubator||San Francisco, California||2017||Life Science, Incubation, Early Stage Startups|
|68||Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator||New York||2011||Early Stage Funding, Tech Accelerator|
|69||Beijing Beihangtianhui Technology Incubator Co., Ltd.||China||1999||Private Equity, Incubator, VC|
|70||ETC Baltimore||United States||1990||Incubation, Non-Profit, Funding|
|71||HCDC Business Center||United States||1989||Early Stage Funding, Incubation|
|72||I3P - Incubatore delle Imprese Innovative del Politecnico di Torino||Italy||1999||University Based Enterprise Incubator|
|73||Ingria Residentship Program||Russia||2008||Incubation, Mentorship, Funding|
|74||Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator||United States||2011||Incubation, STEM, Advocacy|
|75||Montpellier BIC||France||2008||Incubation, Business Strategy, Funding|
|76||Uppsala Innovation Centre||Sweden||1999||Business Development, Incubation, Management services|
|77||WSL||Belgium||2000||Incubation, Management Consulting|
|78||1871 Incubator||United States||2012||Incubation, Non-Profit, IT|
|79||Guinness Enterprise Centre||Ireland||2000||Business Advise, Office Space, Networking|
|80||IE Orchard National Incubator||China||2004||Incubation, Mentorship, Funding|
|81||MIDITEC-ACATE||Brazil||1970||Incubation, Mentorship, Financial services|
|82||Royal Scientific Society - iPARK||Jordan||2000||Incubation, R&D, Accelerator, Incubation|
|83||HSE Business Incubator||National Research University - Higher School of Economics,Russia||2006||Venture Capital, R&D, Incubation|
|84||Aalto Startup Center’s Business Generator||Aalto University,Finland||1997||Incubation, Mentorship, Consulting services|
|85||York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI)||York University, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics,Canada||2013||Entrepreneurship Training, Startup Resources|
|86||Imec.istart||Belgium||2011||Entrepreneurship Program, Incubator|
|87||Startup Aggieland||United States||2005||Accelerator, Incubator|
|88||EIT Digital Accelerator||Europe||2010||Education, Research, Growth Support|
|89||GenerationS Corporate Accelerator by RVC JSC||Russia||2013||Accelerator, VC, Corporate Innovations|
|90||ISDI Accelerator (formerly IMPACT Accelerator)||Spain||2014||Entrepreneurship, Accelerator, Funding|
|91||Kerala Startup Mission||India||2015||Technology Business Incubation, Accelerator|
|92||NDRC||Ireland||2006||Early Stage Investment, Digital Ventures, Technology Accelerator|
|93||365x Scaleup||Israel||2018||Startups , Accelerators, Scalability|
|94||The Accelerator Centre||Canada||2006||Accelerator, Early Stage Venture, Seed|
|95||Chinaccelerator||China||2010||Startups, Seed funding, Accelerator|
|96||GVA Accelerator Program||Russia||2012||Startups, Venture Capital, BootCamp|
|97||SEED SPOT||United States||2012||Youth Entrepreneurship, Social Enterprise, Business Fundamentals|
|98||Shell Iniciativa Jovem||Brazil||2011||Venture Debt, Accelerator, Venture Capital|
|99||Alsessor||Dublin,Ireland||2020||Non Equity Assistance, Accelerator, Incubator|
|100||Le Camp||Canada||2015||Accelerator, Incubator|
Top Startup Incubators
Here are the top 15 profiles from the startup incubator list:
1. Y- combinator
An American seed money startup, Y Combinator, is a startup accelerator and incubator launched in March 2005. It has launched more than 2,000 companies, which includes Stripe, Airbnb, Twitch, and Reddit. The main focus of the company is early-stage startup funding, accelerator, private equity, planning, and advisory, mentorship, incubation, funding, and valuation.
2. Tech stars
Another American seed accelerator and incubator founded in 2006, Tech stars, is in Boulder, Colorado. The company had accepted over 1,600 companies into its programs till 2019 with a combined market capitalization of $18.2bn USD. Fewer than 1% of the over 17,000 applicants are accepted. The main focus of the company is startup communities, entrepreneurship, venture capital, technology, accelerators, mentorship, community, funding, fundraising, startups, ecosystem development, corporate innovation, innovation, studio, and entrepreneurs.
3. 500 Startups
In 2010, Dave McClure and Christine Tsai founded 500 startups, an early stage venture fund and seed accelerator/incubator. At Mountain View, California in 2011, they admitted a first “class” of twelve startups to their incubator office. 500 Startups concentrates on startups, entrepreneurship, venture capital, seed accelerator, startup accelerator, global venture capital, innovation, seed program, and global startup ecosystems.
4. I/O Ventures
I/O Ventures is an early-stage company that focuses heavily on mentorship and operates closely with the founders of the product over the next stage of the company development, sharing what has proven to work for the product and scaling the growth revenue. Seed funding, mentorship, networking, venture capital, and private equity are the major areas where I/O Ventures concentrate.
5. Dream It Ventures
Next on the list is a growth program and venture fund, Dream It Ventures, centred on startups that already have revenue or pilots ready to upscale. Startups join Dreamit looking to gain customers rapidly, start new partnerships, and raise supplementary capital. Dreamit only invests in startups through the Dreamit program, which grants startups direct access to enterprise customers, investors, advisors, and thought leaders.
6. Transmedia ventures
Transmedia Ventures is one of the best technology venture funds giving deep domain expertise, working experience, and advisory relationships. They have worked with major companies. Mobile technologies and business cloud applications take both horizontal and vertical approaches. Their main areas of work include business intelligence and SaaS/ enterprise, commerce/marketplaces, fintech/blockchain, robotics/AI, social/ messaging, venture capital, angel investment and financial services are the major areas where Transmedia Ventures focus on.
7. The Hatchery
The Hatchery has supported the tech community since 2007 with business execution and access-driven gatherings bringing together contractors, investors, and corporations. The Hatchery focuses on private equity, venture capital, agrifood tech, agtech, and foodtech.
8. The Brandery
The Brandery is a nationally-ranked accelerator and incubator that grasps the expertise of the Cincinnati region, namely branding, marketing, and design. Additionally, with the best mentor network, startups are paired with world-class fruitful agencies and have access to some of the most prominent organizations in the world. The Brandery encompasses a 12-week accelerator program for a group of 5-7 startups selected from an extremely competitive application pool. Startups receive an equity investment, a year of free office space, and over $200k in extra benefits.
9. Excelerate Labs
Excelerator has collected the very best tech incubators and startups companies in Chicago, Illinois. The company performs startup research and considers various factors like revenue potential, leadership team, startup brand traction, and ambitious landscape. Excelerate Labs focuses on business growth, business start-up, strategic business planning, business development, growth finance, strategic marketing, and capacity planning.
10. Capital Factory
Operating at Capital Factory is about staying part of a neighbourhood. The company considers the best entrepreneurs in Texas and introduces them to their first investors, employees, mentors, and customers. This company finds startups of all ages; from first-time entrepreneurs to late-stage tech companies. Irrespective of the entrepreneurial journey you are on, the company simply enters to grow from there. Incubator, coworking, accelerator, funding, events, and mentorship are the company’s main focus.
11. Enterprise Works
Enterprise Works is a technology business incubator that promotes the University of Illinois and community entrepreneurs in all stages of their startup journey. Its clients build disruptive technologies across a wide range of areas, reflecting the depth and breadth of the university’s expertise in agtech, biotechnology, software development, materials sciences, and many more.
AngelPad is an American seed-stage startup incubator, which is based in New York and was launched in September 2010. It was established by Thomas Korte and Carine Magescas, with six other Google employees as mentors. AngelPad offers mentorship, seed money, and networking at two 10-week programs per year.
13. NYC Seed Start
As the name suggests, NYC Seed funds seed-stage technology managers in New York City. The company assists in driven, small organizations move from an idea to a product. NYC Seed provides funding, mentoring, and help to create the next generation of businesses in New York City Through the combined efforts of New York City’s most innovative organizations. The company focuses on accelerators, mentorship, seed funding, networking and incubation.
14. LaunchBox Digital
LaunchBox Digital is a venture capital firm expert in angel, seed, and early-stage investments. The company is centred on web and mobile businesses and all digital platforms. It invests between $15,000 and $30,000 in each company. The company seeks a four per cent to eight per cent equity stake in each portfolio company. Venture capital, angel investment, financial services, seed funding, accelerator is where the main focus of the company is.
15. Ben Franklin Technology Partners
Ben Franklin Technology Partners allows seed investments in early-stage technology businesses, funds innovation in established manufacturers, and encourages clients with in-house experts and any network of proven technical and business supplies. They encourage companies to create and retain highly paid, sustainable jobs by transforming technology into commercial success and economic prosperity. Debt, early stage venture, grant, late stage venture and seed are where the major focus of the company is.
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