To accompany the launch of a startup, more and more structures offer an incubation service. Faced with a rich and diverse offer, incubators must offer innovative and useful services to attract startup. Be ready for 2017 with these 7 useful advices to have a better incubator.
The number of startup is expected to increase tenfold in 2017. In fact, It has been increasing in recent years. After school, many students want to become their own boss and organize their work as they want. Also, employees who have been disappointed with work in a company wish to set up their own business so that they no longer have a manager.
The reasons that motivate people to create their startup are numerous: desire for independence, ideas to be concretized, will to wealth…and to ensure success, it is better to be accompanied. This is when startup incubators are useful. They offer a wide range of services to help startup to grow.
As an incubator, you have to face competition of other incubators. To do this, you must offer services that are both useful and innovative to help startup grow. Here 7 advices to be applied as soon as possible to be effective in 2017!
#1 Recruit experienced mentors
The presence of a mentor is essential to help the incubated companies to progress. The advice of a mentor is beneficial to the startup. It can even ensure more success. Be mentored or personalized coaching is very trendy. But do the incubators do it well? That’s another story. There are horror stories of mentor and startup who do not agree.
To avoid this, it is necessary to recruit mentors who are experienced. Mentoring offered by incubators is precious and wished by entrepreneurs. To attract startup and encourage them to apply in your incubator, you must have a dream team of mentors, people who worked for important companies and who are recognized for their expertise.
#2 Participate in startup events
Participating in startup events is the best way to promote yourself and find the future startup that will dominate the market and become big businesses. This is the easiest way to detect the potential of future big startup. And encourage them to participate in your incubation programs.
Plan a budget to attend the startup events and print flyers. Or be creative and think about a more innovative way to make your own promotion (QR Code, dedicated website to recruitment, games…) If your budget is not high, participate in meetups or workshop, free or not expensive events. There are a lot around you on Eventbrite, for exemple.
#3 Advertise on Social Media
Did you know that there are more than one billion people registered on Facebook? And almost 400 million on Twitter? Social networks have played an important part in our daily lives. We connect every day to the internet to talk with our friends, watch the news or meet new people. They are also platforms that influence behavior.
That’s why many companies and brands advertise on social networks. Advertising on social networks is cheaper than conventional advertising and you can target the people you want to reach with your ad very precisely. Furthermore, The people who work in startup are very often connected on social networks. Therefore, there is a good chance they see your advertisement.
For example, you can advertise to encourage entrepreneurs to apply to your incubation program or to promote your infrastructure. Try to be persuasive and make people dreaming.
#4 Create a community
An incubator has a mission: help startup to grow. But the role of an incubator goes further. In an incubator, we create links with other startup that have gone through the same issues. Everyone can find counterparts in other structures to exchange. There is an emulation from craft to craft. It is very stimulating.
To encourage this exchange process, you can set up tools like Slack or Swabbl that will allow all the startup in your incubator to exchange business opportunities, practical information or thematic events. Have these tools in your incubator is important to create a positive dynamic among startup. Both personally and professionally. The employees of the different startup will be able to exchange offers of internships, jobs, contacts for investors or invitations to events.
#5 Have a coworking space
If your premises allow you, create a coworking space. In the coworking areas, there are independent workers, freelancers, self-entrepreneurs … people who are likely to create or integrate a startup in the future. So these people, if they are already in your coworking space, will integrate your incubator directly when their project is mature.
It is a process of loyalty over time. And a good way to finance its incubator. You can even think about a referral system to encourage more startups to apply in your incubator. Thus, you can strengthen the community around your incubator.
#6 Set up a tool for doing business
In an incubator, it is possible to develop its own professional network. We can even find new customers. In an incubator, each startup is a potential business partner for another entrepreneur. “I know someone who does marketing, he could help you” incubators are also places of exchanges and important connections.
With Swabbl, anyone has the possibility to create several thematic groups and to add contacts in these groups, depending on their origin: “Incubator [Name]”, “Members of my coworking space”, “Freelancers from london”… The possibilities are endless.
As an incubator, you can create a business team for your members. Then each member of the group will have the opportunity to publish business needs and meet previously published needs in order to exchange contacts that could meet those needs. It is a simple and effective way to get qualified contacts through its professional networks. Swabbl allows you to quickly obtain qualified recommendations. You have not tried yet? It is time !