Every entrepreneur should have a mentor who can share their wisdom on an ongoing basis. Building trust and personal interest takes time, and it is important for incubators to demonstrate a commitment to such a process.
Benefits to start-up companies would include:
- Opportunities to increase skills, knowledge, and confidence
- Increased potential for business visibility, promotional, or networking opportunities
- Insights into the unwritten rules of business
- A supportive environment in which successes and failures can be evaluated
- Development of professionalism and self-confidence as a business owner through enhancing personal and professional effectiveness
- Recognition, satisfaction, and empowerment as a business owner
- Manage stress and pressure of entrepreneurship more effectively
- Learn to better manage working with increased levels of uncertainty and complexity
Although incubators can and should be closely involved with incubator client companies, their time is also well spent finding, recruiting, and managing a strong network of service providers – consultants knowledgeable in specific subject areas who assist incubator clients on an as-needed basis, usually for free or at reduced rates.
Incubator service provider networks often include accountants, lawyers, venture capitalists, scientific experts, and others who can assist new ventures. These professionals typically are not affordable for early-stage companies, and without them, the value of an incubation program diminishes significantly.
The manager’s goal in developing a service provider network should be to identify and recruit a group of experts who will be readily available and able to resolve most problems faced by client companies. By negotiating economical rates, incubators help their clients conserve much-needed capital.
The process of attracting these individuals may take time, but it will become easier once the incubator has established its own identify as a valuable source of support for successful ventures. Azione assists incubators in this critical phase of development.