Startup incubators have grown in double digits in the last couple of years. Following the success of Ycombinator and TechStars, in recent years we have seen literally hundreds of regional incubators set up in the rest of the US and Europe, across campuses and within vertical industries, such as mobile or finance. Each incubator promises to provide startups with mentorship, support and a smoother ride to funding.
A new report published by NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts – an independent body with a mission to make the UK more innovative), predicts that we can expect to see many more new accelerator programmes created in the coming years, and therefore it’s important to understand their processes to better support the growth of innovative startups.
Bootstrapped startups need to look at the plethora of incubators as an opportunity to become better entrepreneurs by learning from your peers and mentors, and by creating powerful networks across geographies.
Criticisms of the model
Despite the generally positive feedback from investors and entrepreneurs alike, incubators also have their detractors: they only build small companies (so far), they divert talent from other high-growth startups and good companies sometime fail despite the incubator program.
Download the Startup Factories report here.