Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

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How to get from where you are to where you want to be

Source #4: Incubators

The genius of investing is recognizing the direction of a trend – not catching highs and lows Anonymous

If you find yourself in a precarious situation where you haven’t been able to raise any money through the three methods outlined in the previous posts; incubators may be the route to take. Incubators are essentially centers or organizations where startup companies are provided seed funding and a office location to launch their business. An example which comes to mind immediately is Y Combinator. The website provides you with a basic idea of how incubators are run.

I was introduced to the concept of incubators very early on as the university I attended runs several of them. The way it worked was;

  1. Write a comprehensive business plan and send it in for review.
  2. If you get short listed you were called in to give a presentation about your concept or idea to a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs.
  3. Once you get through, you negotiate with the university on an equity swap for seed financing. Usually the sum would be below $15k and they would take anywhere between 5-10% of the company.
  4. You are allocated a small cubicle where you have access to shared services such as a receptionist and a business center.
  5. You are allocated a mentor to guide you along your startup route until you are ready to meet an angel investor or VC.

In theory this is a relatively easier route than the ones outlined earlier. However due to the severe shortage of incubators in most countries I left this source out earlier. I would appreciate if comments could be made regarding incubators in your country of residence to facilitate anyone who may be looking to use this source.

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2 Responses

  1. Allen Taylor says:

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Allen Taylor

  2. […] Incubators: Provide entrepreneurs with initial seed capital and resources in exchange for a minimal equity swap to get your idea off the ground. They help you in creating powerful networks which act as catalysts to get your product/service moving in the right direction. Incubators are quite scarce making them extremely difficult to get into. To read more about this source please click here. […]

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