Today, Incubators are a common sight in our startup ecosystem. Eagerly competing to support founders in developing their business ideas and to foster the next Dropbox or Airbnb. Stemming into two branches; profit-run and non-profit incubators, which both offer different benefits to startups.
Conversely, there is one hidden inefficiency which you need to be wary of before pitching your ideas. Let me elucidate…
When starting a business in our free market environment, time is a treasured resource. Or put differently, a founder can be sure they will be beaten to the market and their first-mover advantage lost, if they can’t proficiently introduce a MVP in time.
I mean, who remembers Alfred Russel Wallace, the man who worked on The Theory of Evolution before Darwin? Or even the guys who invented the airplane at the same time as the Wright brothers?
These guys missed eternal fame by a few moments, just because somebody else got there first…
Keeping the right focus
To abstain from getting left behind, early-stage startups must have an unconditional focus on the product and the market in which they want to operate in.
This is where most incubators models are flawed.
Profit-run incubators (or as I like to call them corporate incubators) often lead your attention astray. Their underlying methods are focused on attracting investors and this moderates your capacity to truly capture your target audience.
The intensive support programs they habitually run can push startups to jump through largely hypostatised hoops. Often forcing them down the financing path to ripen for investors prematurely.
Admittedly, there is usually a time when startups require external investment but what is regularly forgotten is; investment is not a measure of success.
Success must ultimately be measured by consumer satisfaction, and if customers are satisfied, growth will follow.
To beat the crowd, often you must forget about appraising share structures and valuations until it is clear you have proven that you have created real value within the marketplace.
Investment isn’t everything.
Many start-ups don’t need funding they need advice and a network.
The key value of a charity run incubator comes from its mission. It is not to build an equity army rather to just help great people create great businesses.
Launch22 in King’s Cross and Bathtub 2 Boardroom nestled between Old Street and Angel, believe strongly in the uplifting potential that the entrepreneurial lifestyle provides.
These incubator’s interests are not to profit from your hard work. They do not want a share in your business and they don’t push you to reach their misconstrued targets.
Their vision to create a community of like minded people to enable startups to network and collaborate on ideas at their own pace, for their owns goals and motivations.
Through mentorship, feedback, networking and sourcing investment (at the right time) they support organic growth, not magic growth, (a term once spat at me in a conversation I had with an ardent philanthropist that describes the illusion of growth in our capital markets being exploited by bullish investors).
What’s really salient is that Launch22 and Bathtub 2 Boardroom’s beliefs are reflected in their inclusive co-working packages. They offer low-cost rates in the city centre, where rental rates are usually sky high, making a fervid startup community in London more accessible.
So if your startup requires some extra support be sure to take into consideration where your focus should really be. Be prepared for the time commitments and scrutiny that come with partnerships and remember… investment isn’t everything!
You’ve been warned!
(Launch22 provides expert mentoring and a co-operative working environment to feed your business the necessary nutrition for success. To find what we can do for you click here to arrange a tour around our new space in King’s Cross)