27 May 2022
Startup business incubators are highly competitive, but for good reason. If you are among the lucky few who get accepted, you are most likely going to get access to funding, experienced business mentors and investors, workshops, a community of entrepreneurs and many other resources that could help you get your business off the ground.
But in order to be selected, you need to be prepared - and we’re here to help. Here are 4 things you need to focus on for the best chance of getting accepted to a startup business incubator.
You don't necessarily need to have a whole team of staff, but know that business incubators look for strong founders with strong teams first and business ideas second.
When you apply for a position in the incubator, they will need to know whether you have the proper team to execute your ideas, so make sure you have the right people in place. Here you can find a number of tips to attract talent to your business.
You need to establish a strong presence in order to be a viable candidate, for example within platforms such as Linkedin. This will help you start an early connection with mentors, providing you with your own network before joining an incubator.
It is also worth noting that even if you get rejected from your desired incubator program, chances are it’s not the end. Keep in touch with the program leaders and when you can, send them updates about major business milestones you have achieved.
It may also be beneficial to recommend their program to others, as these programs rely heavily on word of mouth, and your support could be very valuable to them. Now, this doesn't mean that they will accept you the next time you apply, but it could definitely open a number of doors for you.
Even if your technology or service is better than the other applicants, not polishing the application can cost you your place on the incubator, so be serious about it. This means spending a significant amount of time on your application, making it look professional and ensuring there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes.
Your pitch is how you will differentiate your startup from the other applicants and should be prepared and well rehearsed. Make sure you tailor your pitch to the audience you are talking to and avoid being too technical. You must also be able to set yourself apart from the rest, and also justify what market share you are applying for.
When applying to a startup business incubator, experience doesn't matter, even if you’ve been in the industry for 15 years. As long as you show that you know what you are talking about, you will have a good chance of being accepted into the program.
While the services that each individual incubator offers to its startups differs, the general motive of these organisations is to nurture startups by providing resources and services that can accelerate the growth of a startup through early product development and customer acquisition.
Their support can involve exposure to investors and mentors, networking opportunities, co-working space alongside other businesses and experienced professionals, and even funding.
Incubators are home to angel investors and other individuals who can mentor early entrepreneurs, and having access to a wide number of experienced mentors means there are significant opportunities for learning during the program.
For business growth, having a good product or service is only half of the story. Networking is equally important as it helps build relationships with other professionals, leaders, and startup entrepreneurs within your industry. Being part of a startup incubator is the perfect opportunity to meet a strong network of people who can give you contacts, referrals, opportunities, and exposure in your industry.
Another way in which incubators can help startups is access to coworking space and necessary resources to get their organisation up and running efficiently.
One of the main reasons why startups fail is because they run out of cash. Startup incubators have numerous partners who assist startups that are using the incubator. These partners also provide funds and other valuable resources for startups.
All businesses involved in the Tramshed Tech start up academy will have the opportunity to pitch to a panel of investors whereby one lucky business will receive a prize of £10,000 in equity-free cash, awarded directly from ‘Google For Start Ups’.
One of the many business support schemes we run here at Tramshed is the Start Up Academy. The twelve-week incubator programme covers all aspects of building a successful business from idea generation and planning to finance, product development and team building. Find out more about the Tramshed Tech Start Up Academy here.