How can I find a business incubator near me, to help me turn my idea into a business? This burning question has probably triggered way too many discussions with friends and people from your network. Discussions that were fruitful or not all that productive. As expected, you may also have devoted a great deal of time googling around and reading articles to find more about this, right?
And now, thanks to our article’s title, you’re here to learn more about business incubators. Great! On our part we’ll help you in that direction, by giving you a few extra details on how business incubators work; and how they help early-stage startups get off the ground. As for the proximity part, if you’re a startup in the making, located in Greece, you’ll also get a brief overview of the Greek startup ecosystem; and, more specifically, the part that has to do with incubators. And, in case you’re ready to take the chance, we’ll also give you a few good reasons to choose Starttech Ventures, of all options.
Let’s start with the basics.
What’s a business incubator?
Business incubators — or startup incubators — as they’re called, are companies that help startups develop their products and build successful businesses around them. More specifically, they provide startups with a variety of services that are crucial in their early days. Business incubators usually vary in terms of the industries the startups they accept are focused on. And, they may also differ in terms of business models these products are wrapped around. To mention a few variations, business incubators can be:
- startup studios that focus on portfolio companies
- venture builders that leverage internal resources and build startups from the inside out
- seed accelerators that focus on fixed-term programs
In fact, the last one is interchangeably used — even mistakenly so — with business incubators. That goes to say, the majority of such companies do not strictly act as incubators or accelerators; and neither identify or name themselves exclusively, one way or the other.
Now, if your decision to look for a business incubator stems from the fact that at the start of your endeavor you stumbled upon major difficulties, then you’re probably fully determined to use that tool. For business incubators are exactly that, tools that help you overcome obstacles you’ll find in the way. Now, if you’ve been thinking about joining a business incubator only because “that’s how it goes”, it will be helpful to see why joining one is, indeed, crucial for your startup.
Why do I need to join a business incubator near me?
All the inspiration in the world means little without action, right? The same is also true for startup ideas. Without a well-thought-out plan of actions, things will probably not work out as you’ve initially expected. And, even if startups and planning sound a bit contradictory, gearing your mind around a series of steps, which you’ll probably revise from time to time, is of cardinal importance.
But, what are the right steps to focus on, in the beginning of your journey? Well, that’s only one of the questions you’ll get the chance to answer within a business incubator. More specifically, within a business incubator you’ll get help and support on how to build your startup product and company minimizing distractions at the same time.
The services provided will help you resolve way more issues related to fundamental business operations than you’d otherwise have the capacity to do.
You might be thinking: “Why should I find a business incubator near me when I can build my startup from scratch and successfully carry out the whole venture?”
If you believe so, then you need to be in position to answer all of the following questions:
Issues to resolve when building a startup
- Where will you and your team literally house your venture?
- How do you plan to deal with infrastructure requirements?
- Will you have all the needed resources to resolve legal and other business-related issues, in parallel with product development?
- Are you confident you’ll be able to pull through all the marketing efforts you’ll need to put into it sooner or later?
- What about accounting, hiring, and other operational aspects that will pile up, starting day one?
- How does full time devotion to this plan sound to you? Will you be able to cover your living expenses, while working on your startup full time?
- And, most importantly, do you have the financial resources to support all the previous — and way too many — other challenges, on your way to building your startup? Do you have the financial backup you’ll need for all the above?
Is it feasible for you and your team to find ways to resolve all these issues, as they arise?
Starting your startup on your own, without the support of a business incubator is not that easy. And that is because as a startup founder you’ll need to be fully devoted to building your product and your company; and issues as the ones described above may be exhaustively distractive, if not nearly impossible to resolve on your own.
Now let’s stick to solving them; and let’s see what you’ll get from a business incubator.
A business incubator near me: what’s in it for my startup?
Looking for a business incubator near me. Will I get what I need?
Well, the help and support you’ll get within a business incubator come in the following ways:
- Low cost or free office space along with essential facilities
- Help with business basics
- Administrative support
- Mentorship and guidance to build, launch, manage and grow your business idea
- Funding opportunities (usually from their network of partners)
- Help with accounting and financial management
- Networking with industry partners, experts, VCs and angel investors
The above offerings are only some of the services provided by — and within — a business incubator. Now, if you’re located in Greece, wondering “What’s a suitable business incubator near me?” we got you covered. Let’s have a look at the Greek startup ecosystem.
The Greek startup ecosystem: business incubators
During the past few years, Greece has witnessed the development of several new ICT clusters, incubators and accelerators according to Enterprise Greece. The majority of business incubators and accelerators are located in Athens; but there are also a couple of organizations that offer incubation services in Patras and Thessaloniki, as well. In a recent report, focused on the Greek startup ecosystem, there were more than 20 number accelerators, business incubators and co-working spaces listed; located in Greece.
Among these dedicated publicly- and privately-run structures, incubators, R&D centers, co-working spaces, one can also find our own organization; the provided services of which we’ll present below.
So, if you’re about to start building your own startup in Greece, why not have a look at what Starttech Ventures has to offer in that direction? You may or may not have an open call at any given moment, but it’s definitely worth a try.
Starttech Ventures: more than “a business incubator near me”
As mentioned, most of the time, it’s difficult to define a business incubator. And when choosing one, you need to examine whether the offerings can cover your startup’s needs. In a similar fashion, our Business Incubator at Starttech Ventures — though we would better describe ourselves as a Venture Builder, based on our portfolio companies — offers incubation services, along with equity funding (typically, directly offered by accelerators) to startups that get accepted to our program.
As for the services we offer, what don’t you try these for size:
You and your team, located at the center of Athens; at an open space, where you’ll get the chance to work closely with our “Lean Acceleration” support team. This condition will also allow you to get in touch with other startup founders that have already grown their startups to the next level. But, Starttech Ventures is not just another case of a “business incubator near me”. Read on!
IT infrastructure and support
We provide all of our startups with the required hardware and software infrastructure, releasing development teams from the extra hassle; and making it way easier for them to focus on their product and business development.
All newly formed businesses have to deal with basic business operations; and, on our part, we help startups in that direction, by resolving financial management issues, throughout their stay.
We help startups find and hire their first employees; and grow their teams the right way.
Building a startup from scratch may also involve a list of legal structures and agreements; even during early days. We know how stressful and distracting these processes may be for a startup in the making; and that’s why cover that aspect too.
Coaching and mentoring on fundamental business development aspects
The key benefit for startups that join our incubator is our training and mentoring services that are focused on four major pillars:
- Lean startup
- Agile development
- Customer research
- Design thinking
Our Lean Acceleration team works closely with each startup company, as a unified team, to resolve issues related with different business aspects. In particular, we help our startups with market research and the validation of their hypotheses in the early days; and gradually support the acceleration of their growth, till their graduation from our program.
Services of a marketing agency
Business development requires a series of services for which startups — in the absence of immediate alternatives — would probably have to recruit external partners to cover their needs. To help in that direction, we support our startups by building their brand identity from scratch; and by providing a wide list of Marketing-related services, along with UI/UX consulting, content creation and other services pertinent to their current stage.
Summing it up
Building a startup from scratch may be daunting. Leveraging the support and services offered by business incubators will definitely help you save yourself and your team the time and trouble. Most important, it will probably help you improve the chances for your startup to succeed; so why not answer the question “What’s the best business incubator near me” for yourself, and get started building your startup?