Should You Join a Business Incubator?

Business incubators are more than just office space. If you move your start-up into one without first doing your research, you may regret your decision.

It’s important to understand that incubators want to do more than simply “store” entrepreneurs; they seek to coach, connect, and motivate them as well. Also, it’s critical to understand what incubator life is like, both socially and professionally.

Here are some ways to tell if you are a good fit for an incubator:

You Should Join a Business Incubator or Accelerator If . . . 

You appreciate social environments. Networking is constant in most incubators, who often encourage socialization among member companies. However, for some entrepreneurs, the social traffic may be an annoying distraction. If you think that too many people buzzing around will interfere with your success, don’t join an incubator that doesn’t offer secluded office space.

You see the value of business planning. Many entrepreneurs get so involved in one facet of their businesses that shifting gears seems impossible. But the incubator philosophy is that entrepreneurs should be mindful of their entire business — not just one part like product development — and there areplenty of statistics to back that philosophy up. If you’re the kind of person who would hate doing customer development research before going to market, or would despise reviewing financials before your product is even developed, then you should consider other options for office space.