Every new born, is equally important to the parents as well as the medical facility where the miracle takes place. If the newbie requires any medical care, they are placed in an incubator and attended to with motherly attention, till they are ready to smile at your “cho chweet” words.

Very similar to the birthing process of a new life, is the birthing of a new viable business venture. The business idea born to the entrepreneur, needs nurturing and caring.

So what does an incubator do for a start-up business venture?

A business incubator is a shared unit, set up to assist the start-up with facility management so that they are able to devote their time and energy, solely to develop their offerings to the society and business in general.
The incubator, as such will provide the start-ups with space for their Office / R&D facility at very nominal or very low costs. This is generally done, as maximum no. of start-ups are bootstrapped for funds and even do not possess the requisite flows to pay their staff. Apart from subsidized rent, the incubators may provide free landline and internet connections, pantry services and meeting and conference facilities.
Some incubators, move a step up and provide mentoring and funding platforms to the start-ups, also. Such incubators tie up with successful management professionals, seasoned business coaches etc. to provide suitable guidance to the start-ups in areas where, they feel they need advice. Similarly, incubators also have VCs, HNIs etc. who are willing to invest in start-ups, which have the potential to reach the stars. For this, the due diligence is done both by the incubator and the investor at their own levels.
In India various Govt. of India agencies provide grants/loans to start-ups, working in their specified areas. Similarly, many national and international corporates provide their CSR funds to start-ups, so that they are able to augment their funds, and move ahead. Specialized incubators keep track of all these movements and inform it’s incubates to avail them, if need be.
Incubators, organize “Meet & Greet”, “Start-up Boot-Camps” etc. both physical and virtual for the VCs, HNIs, govt. bodies, corporates to learn from each other and network with the start-ups and vice-versa. These go a long way to showcase the work done by the start-ups, and provide them the requisite market visibility.

So after reading the above, one will surely appreciate the yeoman service the incubators are doing for the Start-up Ecosystem in India. But, the BIG Question that needs to be answered is, how do the incubators sustain themselves?
The answer is as such that the Incubators, get a stake in all the start-ups the incubate. So when these start-ups start earning, the incubator may sell their stake, in a pre-decided format. BUT, not all start-ups make it big, many fail whereby the incubators also end up losing money. So the giveaway is that Incubators need to be very, very cautious in incubating start-ups.

So my dear start-up, if the above facilities, as provided by an incubator, do not entice you and you decide to DIY, then you surely will be successful, depending on your offering, but the gestation period will surely be prolonged, and a “Me Too” product/service will have captured the market as the first mover, by then. So give the new born some ammunition to fight with.

Loads to ponder over, I think… Take your time… but not much…

Why Incubate?