Young entrepreneurs see immense benefits in getting their business ideas incubated. Incubators act as accelerators for young startups. Several engineering and management institutes in India offer incubation support to aspiring entrepreneurs. As a part of any incubation cell, entrepreneurs can get an office space and easier access to lawyers, accountants, and potential investors apart from mentorship advice. However, clearing the rigorous selection process before getting your business plan incubated is just the first step to their entrepreneurial journey. Success of an incubatee depends upon several factors.
Here are seven survival tips every incubatee must be aware of:
1. Address a need: Identify a gap in the market, and see whether the technology under development (either offered as a product and/or service) is addressing/solving a critical problem.
2. Develop a model: Prepare the proof of concept/business model with real data points and market validation.
3. Avoid pre-mature scaling: Avoid investing considerable amount of money on segments like marketing, hiring etc before a working business model is identified or burning rate is too fast while failing to secure further financing.
4. Get the right team: Creating a team with good balance between technical and business expertise is crucial.
5. Motivate the team: Motivation and determination for creating wealth for the country using intellectual properties is important.
6. Robust revenue model: Sound financial support with infusion of capital at several stages of the product development cycle including prototyping, field trial, pilot job, re-design and scaled up manufacturing of final product, further product development are very important, especially for manufacturing-based products.
7. The right mentor: The right mentorship from domain experts plays a significant role in refining business strategies, and meeting dynamic needs of the market.
With inputs from Kunal Upadhyay, CEO, Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship – Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad; Dr Anil Wali, MD, Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer - Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi ; Dr Satyahari Dey, MD, Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Park- IIT Kharagpur; Tamaswati Ghosh, CEO, IIT Madras Incubation Cell; and Poyni Bhatt, COO, Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship – IIT Bombay