What Is a Tech Incubator
The following topics will be discussed in this post.
- How Common Are Tech Incubators?
- Comparison to Tech Accelerators
- Benefits of Tech Incubators
- Examples of Tech Incubators
Smartphone apps are more than for games and social media. People use them for essentials such as grocery shopping and banking. They also use them for making life-changing decisions such as buying real estate.
As a budding app developer, you need to take advantage of people's reliance on apps. But when you have developed the app, what should you do next? You can turn to tech incubators.
When you hear "tech incubator," it is not surprising that the first image that comes to your mind is Silicon Valley. It is where the technology you could not even begin to imagine is already going through a test run. This image is not far from reality. Tech incubators are supporters of startups.
They provide mentorship in various fields. They also deliver business services such as accounting and legal. And they have a broad network of potential funders and investors. With the help of tech incubators, you can focus all your energy on developing the next groundbreaking app.
How Common Are Tech Incubators?
According to the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), there are 1,400 business incubators in the U.S. But they're not all the same.
Some are big, some are small. Most of them have different business models and different processes for their beneficiaries. Not even all focus on tech. Out of all the incubators in the country, 37% of them take in tech startups under their wing.
Incubators are also nonprofit organizations. Thirty-two percent of them are sponsored by colleges and universities, and 25% of them are sponsored by economic development and organizations. Only 4% are for-profit incubators.
Comparison to Tech Accelerators
Many people use both terms interchangeably. But there are a few significant differences between them. The most obvious one is that most tech accelerators are for-profit. Often, tech accelerators consist of venture capitalists and angel investors.
They give the starting capital to young entrepreneurs that they see potential in. They do this in exchange for an equity stake (between 6 to 10%).
Accelerators also tend to be more selective in the tech startups that they will support. They are also more partial to those that are at the incredibly early stages of their business development.
The biggest difference between an incubator and an accelerator, though, is the duration of the engagement with the tech startup. You could spend years with an incubator. But with an accelerator, your mentorship with them could last only about three to five months.
Benefits of Tech Incubators
Trusting the development of your entrepreneurial skills in a tech incubator can lead to several benefits. The most significant is mentoring.
Sure, brainstorming ideas for tech that you can develop can be pretty taxing already. But there are more things to do besides that.
Tech incubators are also a gateway to a broad network. You will meet investors, venture capitalists, mentors, fellow developers and entrepreneurs, and PR and marketing specialists.
Developing your tech takes the bulk of your journey. But there are more things to deal with such as sourcing your capital and marketing. Thus, brushing shoulders with these people is a must.
Tech incubators can also deal with other mundane aspects for you. As you focus on developing your tech and discussing business strategies, it would be hard to also think about accounting and legal. You cannot escape these mundane things forever.
But you can at least trust others to settle them for you while you focus on app development.
This last benefit might seem insignificant. But tech incubators can provide a workspace for you. As a tech startup, you cannot keep on working in your bedroom or your parents' garage. That is not where revolutionary apps are developed. They are born and nourished in offices where creativity and productivity are in the air.
Examples of Tech Incubators
Innovation Depot is a nonprofit that works in partnership with the University of Alabama and the Birmingham business district. They have helped developed startups that later became shakers of the healthcare and food industries.
1776 is from Washington, D.C. It works in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, and CVSHealth, among others. They worked with the millennials of today and the industry leaders of tomorrow.
Establishing yourself as an up-and-coming app developer will not happen overnight. Tech incubators are the best way for young entrepreneurs such as yourself to gain traction in the industries that you want to join. It is where you will understand the value of mentorship and collaboration.
These are invaluable things that do not easily come by in the professional environment.