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Do We Need Business Incubators?

I just got back from  InnovFest 2014 reception (dinner). One of the frequently questions I got was if I were from a business incubator. I said I am not. I am just a technopreneur and a mentor for several startups.

Then, I keep on thinking, do we really need a business incubator?

Business incubators are similar to incubators used for premature babies. They are used to give those babies fighting chance against the world. The same thing for business incubators. They help startups.

If you have a baby, would you dream to have your baby going through incubator? Probably not. You want your baby to be healthy and can face the world. But, I have a feeling that if somebody (you) starts a start-up, he (you) would like to get into an incubator. Strange.

What do you think?

Comments

dewitya said…
terimakasih infonnya
Gamal Mustapha said…
Excellent topic Budi. If you recall, my original startups were run out of garages and basements until we finally got lucky and ended up in a corner of a warehouse. Attracting skilled talent let alone introducing new technologies to potential clients was embarrassing so we usually ended up conducting meetings at the local coffee shop.

I later joined an incubator based out of the UofM Smartpark. We had access to classrooms, fully equipped boardrooms, receptionist services, server racks, high speed internet, government services and most importantly access to University resources and talent. We were able to entertain visits from CEOs from large organizations to high ranking Ministers.

Having a professional front may not be important to some startups such as an app or web design business, however, designing electronics or physical products requires a level of professionalism and image. Prototypes are now expected to be clean, rugged and very functional. Access to board layout, surface mount tools and even 3D printers is important in todays competitive high tech businesses.

I agree with your baby analogy that you would want your baby to be healthy and face the world but if that incubator provided that baby with cleaner oxygen and less environmental impurities and that baby ended up to be smarter and stronger than everyone else then wouldn't you want that?

I agree the word incubator isn't the best term. In fact, UofM called their business incubator the Eureka Project.
sofyan saori said…
Terimakasih Informasinya
Budi Rahardjo said…
Thanks for the comment, Gamal. Success!

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