The world is in a state of change. The way we do things, the products and services that we offer, the needs we cater to – these are all changing rapidly. One such area that has seen radical changes in recent years is the best incubators for startups.
What used to be just a place for small businesses to grow their ideas into actual companies has now evolved into much more than this.
Today’s venture capitalists want entrepreneurs who have more than just an idea – they want people with skills.
Now, the time has come for you to launch your startup. What’s next? One way is by registering with a startup incubator, which will help develop branding and other aspects of the company before it launches so that there are no hiccups once it’s out in the world. Here’s how they work:
What Is A Startup Incubator?
Every entrepreneur has a way of starting up a new business. Some go the traditional route and start from scratch, while others take advantage of startup incubators to help them get started quickly with some guidance on what they need to do next if things don’t work out as planned.
Startup incubators are typically for companies who have an idea that is very early-stage in development (such as just after many brainstorming sessions).
They provide startups access to experienced mentors/advisors through networking events or even getting one-on-one advice about how best to market themselves and build strong team dynamics.
Mentors guide what steps should come next and how best to plan for future growth and understand when success is near so you don’t get discouraged at every turn- these factors will push your startup towards its goals and make this process easier.
In simple terms, a startup incubator can find the resources they need to start their business and run it in an environment that empowers them.
Benefits Of A Startup Incubator:
Starting your own business is an exciting and scary experience. One of the most important aspects of being a successful entrepreneur is having mentors to guide you in directions that could lead to success, and offer your wisdom when times are tough.
But what happens if an aspiring business person doesn’t have access to the mentor or can’t afford one?
Related: Why You Need a Startup Mentor?
This lack-of-mentors scenario may not be as rare as it seems – many entrepreneurs who start with help from family members or friends find themselves without support at some point along the way because these relationships change over time.
Startup incubators provide mentorship opportunities for individuals looking to get into entrepreneurship, so they don’t end up going this route on their own.
Being part of such a community makes it easier and provides ample opportunity for inspiration, collaboration, networking opportunities – what else could one want?
Another benefit is network access; these programs provide direct exposure as many successful business partners that require significant financial commitments from your venture can be accessed through these programs.
A bonus of being a part of this network is the exposure. Because most businesses don’t have marketing or public relations funds, sharing space with other startups in comparable sectors for mutual promotion and learning opportunities is quite beneficial.
Deciding To Join A Startup Incubator?
When contemplating whether or not to enroll in an incubator, there are some factors to consider. Incubators offer entrepreneurs a long-term opportunity to develop a new firm, so if your company is still in its initial days, the connections, mentorship, and funding benefits can be highly beneficial.
It’s also vital to remember that incubators are not alike. There are several various kinds of incubators you could choose from, such as:
- Profit incubators; their goal is someday monetizing their stake in your business.
- Nonprofit incubators; often assist you in growing your business to boost the local economy.
- Counties, states, and universities run incubators.
Vertical Liftoff (VLO)
Do you have an idea that needs a home? Vertical Liftoff Startup Accelerator is the perfect fit for any startup founder who wants to control all aspects, including their vision.
Instead of making investors happy as traditional accelerators do, VLO focuses on helping founders seize complete and total control over every aspect from fundraising to company structure.
They believe it’s possible because they’ve seen success with several startups going into full-time operations some months later.
Have you ever heard the expression “a penny saved is a penny earned”? It’s true, and establishing a business without capital might be challenging.
That’s why VLO’s founders were able to gain traction in their first week without having to invest funds in an MVP. They accomplished this by utilizing online channels to swiftly obtain feedback from potential clients before constructing anything extensive in-house or paying for costly market research.
Forget about pitch decks; VLO starts you from the beginning, so investors don’t say where you go next. Join VLO to boost your chances of success while preserving 100% ownership of your company and complete control over what happens next.
Why you should apply to Y Combinator:
In 2005, Stanford graduate Paul Graham founded Y Combinator. He was funded by Silicon Valley venture capitalists and has since helped early-stage startups succeed by allocating a small amount of money to work on their projects.
Y Combinator offers free seminars about how best to prepare your business pitch and webinars that cover topics such as accounting basics and customer acquisition throughout different regions around the world.
The company also provides access to its alumni network so you can get guidance on hiring employees, negotiating deals with investors nationwide, finding customers abroad-and any other valuable information.
Therefore, if you want the best possible opportunity to grow your business, try to apply for Y Combinator aka the best incubators for startups, located in Silicon Valley.
The company invests in a wide range of projects that are often successful and innovative due to its stringent selection process, which considers all aspects equally. The application process is rigorous but rewarding.
Y Combinator is an American seed accelerator, started in 2005. They have helped more than 2 thousand startups get off the ground and raised $34 billion for those companies.
Why you should apply to 500 startups:
When just about everyone is looking to start their own company, it’s good that there are startups like 500 Startups.
As an agency dedicated specifically to helping those on the ground floor of new companies get off the ground and pave their way for success, they offer seed funds and guidance from experienced business people with years of experience in what works best for early-stage businesses.
It can be hard enough trying to figure out how your fledgling enterprise will fit into the market without having all sorts of other outside influences affecting you too.
Still, if you’re fortunate enough for incubator or accelerator support, then these worries become less pressing because someone else is taking care of them – at least temporarily.
Starta Ventures is a New York-based venture capital firm and startup accelerator. It is a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage technology firms-providing a 3.5-month acceleration program for entrepreneurs to help them expand towards the next level and $130,000 capital with an equity stake of 7%.
This investment provides venture capital support for your business, whether you’re just getting started or have been around for a while but requiring some extra cash.
Halo is a women’s business incubator. They provide coaching, education, and tools to aspiring female entrepreneurs to start their businesses from the ground up.
The Halo Business Incubator assists young female entrepreneurs by providing everything they need to succeed, including mentorship, financial education, and capital raising.
MouseBelt equips blockchain businesses with the resources they need to get up and operate as rapidly as feasible.
They have an internal staff of experts in all fields, such as developers, marketers, and business development specialists, who can assist you gain an advantage straight away.
Lair East Labs
Lair East Labs is a business accelerator for entrepreneurs from the United States who want to expand their client base to Asia.
Through an intensive mentorship process with alumni from leading Silicon Valley accelerators and access to a network of investors who can provide extra investment or direction in the earliest stages of growth, the 10-week program helps invest $50,000 and advance up to 12 firms every year.
Smarter in the City
A 5-month accelerator program providing resources and workspace to minority entrepreneurs living in inner-city neighborhoods.
The goal of this organization is not simply to increase access for these communities but also to create jobs by starting their business ventures around computer science or digital media.
The Smarter in the City Accelerator Program provides minorities with an opportunity that was previously unavailable.
With more opportunities than ever before available through home broadband, it can be challenging for populations who are not privileged.
Plug and Play
Plug and Play is a seed-stage investor that helps emerging growth companies. They run 12 industry-specific accelerator programs twice per year, which act as platforms for significant corporations seeking innovation and high-quality startups looking to connect with innovators either within their niche or outside it.
Plug & Play has been an innovative force from its inception, providing financing opportunities through accelerators across industries where they foster new ideas into viable businesses not just by leaps but also by strides – helping entrepreneurs succeed at every stage of development on an idea worth pursuing.
MassChallenge is a nonprofit yet one of the best incubators for startups formed by John Harthorne and Akhil Nigam to aid early-stage entrepreneurs and those whose traditional funding sources have been turned down.
To date, they have accelerated 2,344 startups, resulting in the creation of 136K employment, $2.7 billion in total revenue, and more than $5 billion in funding for the company’s portfolio firms from investors across the world.
100K Ventures is a venture capital fund for entrepreneurs who have a penchant for disrupting the status quo.
The 100K Ideas pipeline is an internal startup accelerator that grants startup funding to entrepreneurs with “crazy ideas”.
Founders that are innovative and ambitious are encouraged to apply via their website or social media profiles.
Every selected applicant has access to mentorships from renowned industry figures like Frank “The Big Hurt” Thomas, a former first baseman for the Chicago White Sox who understands both sides of success.
Google Launchpad Accelerator
The Google Launchpad Accelerator is a six-month program for emerging market growth-stage entrepreneurs.
To expand your company, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with Google engineers, Silicon Valley experts, and top mentors from all over the world through this program.
This accelerator’s equity-free support includes product credits and all-expenses-paid training in San Francisco, allowing both founders to focus on their firm rather than working elsewhere.
Women’s Startup Lab
Women’s Startup Lab is an accelerator program dedicated to helping female founders and their teams build significant firms that positively influence the world.
The community of female entrepreneurs provides a forum for these businesswomen to share ideas and inspire one another to create the future jointly.
Why you should apply to RevUp
RevUp makes it easy for startups to get funding. They provide non-dilutive, equity-free cash investment in exchange for revenue with 36 months of return and give up to $250k.
RevUp was founded in 2009, but the current form emerged as Revolution Up in 2015 when they were given legal access into this field.
This innovative startup has helped many entrepreneurs reach their goals by providing them an easier way to find funding from investors without diluting stake or giving away majority control over your business as most traditional routes do – all while offering benefits such as 100% reimbursement on money spent during screening process (not just flights) plus even more perks.
Why you should apply to DreamIT Ventures
One of the few accelerators that offer both venture capital and private equity programs is DreamIT Ventures.
A hybrid program is also available for startups with revenue or pilots less than a year old but more established than just an idea.
Dreamit could be your best bet, with a $20,000 investment in exchange for a 20% discount on their next round investment and access to significant mentors from various industries and places worldwide.
Why you should apply to Techstars
Founded in 2006 and has a presence in over 15 countries. It offers to fund entrepreneurs who have great ideas for their companies but need help bringing them to fruition, working with the stakeholders of any startup-minded individual’s idea to find success through mentorship efforts.
Techstars provides these funds by offering an opportunity for investors – venture capitalists or angel investor groups -to contribute $100,000 convertible notes at no more than a 10% equity stake (hence why they’re not investing themselves).
If you’re an entrepreneur looking for a boost, Techstars is the way to go. With its focus on innovation and venture capital funding from prominent investors like Erik Bullen, this organization has extensive knowledge of what it takes to succeed.
Why you should apply to Chinaccelerator
Most people would agree that China is an excellent place to start a business. Chinaccelerator, part of venture fund SOSV (SOS Ventures), has been at it for years, and now they are looking for new startups from around the world.
Chinaccelerator was founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur David Li under his own startup accelerator company Launchpilots which connects brands with university students through online platforms, and they provide $150k investment packages that have helped many successful companies grow their businesses into something greater than they could ever imagine- even if they aren’t living there yet.
Why you should apply to AngelPad
AngelPad is a seed accelerator program that has been providing funding and mentorship ever since 2010.
The founders of the company are all successful entrepreneurs who see potential in people just like you.
They provide $120,000 for 7% equity to early-stage startups with innovative ideas. So far, 153 companies have received AngelPad’s investment – 31 have gone on to receive an exit valuation worth more than 918 million dollars together (this excludes those which haven’t exited yet). Don’t wait any longer; apply today!
Why you should apply to Launchpad LA:
The best way for your tech startup is to help with a program that can fund great mentors and connections.
Launched in 2009, this Los Angeles-based organization has proved itself time and again as being an invaluable partner to those who need it most.
With 140 million dollars raised in total over 14 exits at a value of over 185 Million Dollars (1), LaunchPad LA can support developing startups during their critical life cycle stages such as fundraising or business development while also offering up 6% equity after receiving 50k from them. So what are you waiting for? Apply now
Why you should apply to Amplify LA
Amplify LA is a pre-seed fund that provides startups with $100,000 in return for 10% equity. The company also offers office space and other services to the entrepreneurs funded by them.
They ensure that the founders have access to their mentors’ network, consisting of over 100 professionals from various industries, including technology, media & entertainment, finance, biotech, etc.
Amplify has supported 70 companies since it was founded back in 2011, and 13 out of these ventures were successfully bought by third parties like Warner Music Group or Yahoo.
Apart from investing money into new businesses, they offer some guidance, such as marketing strategies, but mainly focus on providing financial help when needed, most at an early stage before any revenue starts flowing.
Why you should apply to Incubate:
The University of Sydney Incubate Program provides seed-funding to startup founders. They’ve funded more than 100 startups since their founding in 2012, including the world’s first instant checkout platform for small merchants and brands.
Incubate is a fantastic organization that’s invested in the tech industry. They give five thousand dollars worth of seed funding, one-on-one mentorship, and masterclasses by accomplished entrepreneurs and professionals from around Australia.
In addition, they also provide free office space for startups within their incubator program. Incubate has 107 great minds behind them with one exit so far, but it only raised $30 million in total funds, which isn’t bad at all given its location-Australia.
Why you should apply to Innovyz:
There’s a lot of reasons why you should apply to Innovyz. They have been shaping the landscape internationally since 1994, with great success in Australia and abroad.
You can continue working your day job while running an international accelerator and tap into their vast knowledge base for help on all aspects of the business, from marketing to programming- they’re experts at everything.
Titomic, a firm specializing in industrial-scale additive fabrication technology applications, is one of this incubator’s alumni companies.
Why you should apply to Eleven Startup Accelerator:
Eleven Startup Accelerator is a Sofia, Bulgaria-based one of the best incubators for startups that focuses on early-stage investments and has the backing of global investors.
It offers 100,000 euros for a 10 to 12% equity stake in your business as well as an opportunity for 200,000 more through its investment program.
The goal of Eleven Startups is to help entrepreneurs scale up their businesses by providing them with funding and contacts within the industry’s network. This helps entrepreneurs multiply while also building connections with potential customers or partners who can assist you down the line – what could be better?
Why you should apply to LAUNCHub:
Do you have an idea that could be the next big thing? LAUNCHub is a U.S.-based company with their second fund, which has attracted 20 million euros in follow-up funding, and they are looking to scale up.
They provide between 300,000-700,000 euros, usually depending on the type of investment made to people who may need it.
They are sector agnostic, meaning they will invest in any tech startup as long as it has the potential to make their money; their portfolio includes companies ranging from SaaS and enterprise software to health-tech and eCommerce. Give your project a chance today by applying.
Why you should apply to Jolt:
Founded in 2012, the Jolt team are all technology experts, so it’s no surprise they focus their efforts on supporting startups with innovative tech ideas and companies who need funding to develop them into profitable ventures.
They have an extensive track record of success, with their most recent venture being valued at $50 million.
Jolt’s goal is to provide entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to be successful on the market, whether during or after their time as clients.
Entrepreneurs who apply for funding through them are given access to resources such as business plan reviews, mentor sessions, and connections via social media networks – all things that will help you grow your small startup into something big!
They offer a $30k investment for equity of 6.5%
Why you should apply to Founderfuel:
FounderFuel is Canada’s leading accelerator, founded in 2011. Located in Montréal, Quebec, they provide a CAD 120,000 investment split into two parts:
The first part of the funding comes as an upfront equity stake worth 5% for founders. There remains a second portion of capital to be invested at FounderFuel’s discretion.
They are industry-focused on technology companies and have funded 89 businesses since 2011 when they began their operations.
Apply by contacting them on their website for more information.
Why you should apply to HAX:
HAX is an immersive accelerator program committed to getting you from the idea stage to prototype in less than three months.
You will be mentored by experts and investors, help your startup grow through networking events, enjoy 24-hour support for all of the professional needs that arise while running a company out on their own during building time.
HAX was founded in 2011; it’s located near Shenzhen Guangdong, China, one of the world’s best hardware markets, with over 10 million people living within 500 meters walking distance from each other.
The investment package this excellent organization offers startups includes $250k, so they can get up and go quickly after being accepted into one of many programs offered at Hax (Hardware Accelerator).
Why you should apply to Highline:
If you’re looking for a company that fulfills your vision and will help accelerate it, Highline Beta is the place to look.
They provide startups with co-creation programs and an accelerator program that can take them from the start-up to market-leading levels in just months!
They are looking for innovative and disruptive ideas, along with ambitious entrepreneurs who have what it takes to bring those innovations to life in an impactful way.
The best part about Highline Beta (apart from their incredible startup funding) – they invest $50k into your idea, but you only give them 10% equity. Join their family today.
Why you should apply to Innovyz:
Innovyz is the birthplace of Latin America’s tech startups. They invest in and fund these entrepreneurs by providing prototyping centers, business development opportunities, mentorship programs for Nxtp.
Their ultimate goal at Innovyz is getting our portfolio companies funded through venture capital or accelerator-style investments where they can expand rapidly on a global scale – all while always being able to maintain that homegrown flavor.
Why you should apply to AlphaLab:
In 2008, AlphaLab was founded to help early-stage tech companies grow. They take great care in choosing the right fit for their organization and invest $25k with a 4% equity stake plus space and services. This unique approach has attracted some of the top talents from Silicon Valley’s accelerator programs and other world-renowned entrepreneurs who want to join Pittsburgh culture.
The AlphaLab accelerator is a charter member of the Global Accelerator Network, founded in 2008. The powerhouse software company has invested $25,000 with an equity return for a 4% stake and space/services to help your early-stage tech companies evolve into something greater!
Why you should apply to Startmate:
If you’re looking for an accelerator program that will provide the funding and expertise to help your business grow, Startmate is an excellent option.
They offer industry-agnostic programs in Sydney or Melbourne with no specific focus on any one area of interest.
Additionally, they give $75,000 upfront and 7% equity which could be worth millions if their past 83 startups are anything to go by. Besides, the company has invested in 71% of active or achieved exits, and their total funding is 117 million dollars.
Why you should apply to Melbourne Accelerator Program:
The University of Melbourne Accelerator Program is a one-of-a-kind, high-tech startup program in Australia.
They offer equity-free funding and inner-city office space to startups that are out there changing the way we live our lives.
Targeting startups with a global product, the Melbourne Accelerator Program offers $20,000 equity-free funding and inner-city office space. This is in addition to mentorship by industry experts from around the world.
The program has helped more than 100 companies grow their businesses and rewarded founders of successful ventures with over $70 million worth of investment dollars since its founding.
A 3-month accelerator program that helps passionate startup founders validate and launch their startups from home. It involves workshops, mentoring sessions with industry experts & investors, and access to over 100 mentors in the entrepreneurial network – all for an affordable price.
Ever wanted to launch your startup and pursue the entrepreneur’s dream? Well, now you finally have a chance.
The Ucreate Spark Incubator offers an opportunity for motivated individuals who are passionate about starting their own business.
With this program, participants will get everything they need to validate, build out, and launch their new venture from home without the usual running costs such as rent or utilities.
A global family of industry-focused startup accelerators provides the tools, expertise, and network to build your company.
For €15K, they offer intensive training in one specific sector or area from experienced mentors who have successfully built companies themselves.
One of the best incubators for startups that connects startups with mentors at an affordable rate. For the first time, this service empowers entrepreneurs to select from thousands of qualified professionals who hold many different skillsets and can offer advice for any problem you’re having in your company’s growth stage.
This means they’ll be able to find someone who knows them better than anyone else.
A locally-based incubator that provides growth opportunities for these exciting new businesses. They are the perfect place to start your business and grow outside of borders with their international expansion program, which helps you identify potential markets in other countries and instruct how best to enter them.
Launch Academy (Vancouver, Canada)
It’s no easy feat to decide which incubator is best for your startup. Still, Launch Academy offers a wide range of services tailored specifically towards startups in all stages and industries: From ideation to design development, manufacturing, marketing campaigns, and more!.
They also offer international expansion options that allow you or your team members global reach.
Sting (Stockholm, Sweden)
Sting is an incubator in Stockholm, Sweden, offering free office space and personal coaching to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
It also helps them develop a winning business plan and provides stock options for the future. Similarly, Sting offers stock options for ventures that show promise of success.
YBF Ventures (Melbourne, Australia)
YBF Ventures offers office space and mentorship programs to help its clients find success. Under the CoWorker, the program offers co-working spaces with access to a pool of other like-minded entrepreneurs in Melbourne.
YBF is also offering corporate partnership opportunities for those looking for more intensive programming. Companies can work together on projects that will benefit both parties involved – not just your company.
Z80 Labs (Buffalo, NY, USA)
This company offers startups an opportunity for growth by giving them access to resources and facilities that will allow their business ideas to flourish.
Z80 Labs is an internet startup incubator based in Buffalo, New York. The company helps entrepreneurs build new and innovative companies by offering workspace for some time at no cost and mentors who provide guidance and (Auckland, New Zealand) support throughout the process of startup development.
Ecentre (Auckland, New Zealand)
You may not know about Auckland, New Zealand’s fastest-growing tech startup, but it quickly becomes a mecca for marketing professionals.
ECentre is a lifeline for New Zealand’s entrepreneurial community. They focus on taking ideas from concepts to global ventures through innovative tools, investment connections, and mentoring.
In conclusion, the best incubators for startups are ones that have a good mix of resources, mentorship, and funding seeking to help newbies find connections they may not otherwise have access to-whether through other startups or investors.
Robin’s Take On Best Incubators For Startups:
What type of incubator are you looking for? One type helps set up your corporate documents, and the other type enables you to validate an idea and take it to market.
It would be best if you had a validated idea with traction before considering the first type.
- Beware of incubators that provide funding that can be used only with their approved services. These are undercover marketing agencies providing market services at a markup in return for a piece of your equity.
- Beware of incubators that tout metrics that benefit the investor and not the founder. Metrics that help an investor include valuation and funds raised. Metrics that benefit a founder are sales and profitability.
- Beware of incubators that are an extension of venture capital funds. These incubators are set up to benefit the investor instead of the founder.
Do choose an incubator that matches your values and philosophy.