by Rosstyn Fallorina, Senior Program Lead for Ecosystem Development
If you’re considering starting your own tech startup, chances are this would be your first venture into the space. If you haven’t yet, you might be interested in watching the South Korean Netflix series, Start-Up to have an idea of what founders go through. Although it’s a bit different to start a tech company here in the Philippines compared to South Korea, the show still presents some shared experiences of startup founders.
One of the phases in the startup journey is potentially working with incubators to help grow the company. Having organized a few myself, let me share with you a few reasons why you should consider joining an incubation program.
1. Support System
Starting a company can be lonely, especially if you’re a solo founder. Not a lot of people will be able to relate to the challenges and pressures of keeping your company alive. Incubator managers are used to working with founders and would have a clear understanding of what founders go through in the early stages of the venture. I’ve spent countless hours speaking with founders and listening to their concerns (and sometimes rants). Having someone you can talk to about your startup goes a long way.
2. Access to networks
Unless you’re a successful entrepreneur or a top-level manager in a large company, you most likely aren’t connected to the relevant stakeholders you’ll need to help grow your startup. By working with incubators, you’ll have access to their network, which typically includes investors, mentors, corporates, government agencies, and more.
Being connected to an incubator adds to your credibility as a company and makes it easier for organizations to connect and work with you.
3. Funding and resources
Depending on the program, incubators usually provide financial support to assist startups in scaling their operations. This is especially helpful to founders that are bootstrapping during the earlier stages of their ventures.
Incubators can also help you raise money from VCs and angel investors. Other resources incubators offer that might also come in handy include office space, shared services such as accountants and lawyers, cloud services credits, and a lot more.
Having set targets with incubators help founders stay on track and allow them to focus on their core business. Incubator managers will regularly ask for updates from startups to ensure you have all the resources you need and that you’re doing all you can to hit your established KPIs.
5. Learn from mentors and other founders
Incubators also give you access to their network of mentors and specialists that will help guide you in growing your startup. Mentors may include successful business leaders, corporate executives, investors, marketing experts, among others.
You'll also be connected with fellow founders in the cohort, allowing you to share your experiences with like-minded entrepreneurs as well as ask for advice and feedback from them if needed.
Like what I tell our founders, this program is what you make of it. So what you get from any incubation program will also depend on you. Don’t be afraid to ask the incubator for help because unless you do so, the incubation manager won’t know that you need it. There’s a saying in QBO that goes, “As long as it’s legal, we’ll try to help you with your request.” So take the leap and apply to that program you’ve been eying!
Apply to our INQBATION program now
If you’re a startup that’s supporting other businesses, you might be interested in applying to our INQBATION: Leveling Up B2B Startups Program, in partnership with Youth Business International and supported by Google.org.
We’ll be choosing 3 startups to incubate in the next three months, and we will be providing each startup up to Php 250,000 in support and resources to help them scale. To join, submit your application here: http://bit.ly/INQBATIONB2B.