Business incubators are institutions that support entrepreneurs in developing their businesses, especially in initial stages. These are organizations geared towards speeding up the growth and success of start-ups and early stage companies.
Incubation support includes providing technological facilities and advices, initial growth funds, network and linkages, co-working spaces, lab facilities, mentoring and advisory support. They are often a good path to capital from angel investors, government organizations, economic-development coalitions, venture capitalists and other investors.
The incubators have potential capital to invest in growth startups, or have links to potential funding sources. They provide access to compliance services from professionals such as accountants and lawyers; not to mention the invaluable mentoring and networking support available at the incubation center, through the staff and other entrepreneurs at the incubator.
As early stage hand holders, incubators act as an integral part of the start-up ecosystem. They act as a catalyst for both regional as well as national economic development.
Incubators vary in their strategies. Some are located in an actual physical space meant to foster networking between incubatee entrepreneurs and others in entrepreneurial space. While others operate on a virtual basis.