AI VENTURES

The Future of Incubation is Virtual

Have you ever tried to breathe life into an idea by building it from the ground up into a realised concept that makes millions in sales? 

Starting a business is not an easy task. Being a founder of a start-up entails its own set of responsibilities. This includes but is not limited to product conceptualisation, market research, branding and marketing, and especially, access to investors and funding. 

To mitigate these challenges, start-up founders are often required to build their own ecosystem within a short period of time to ensure product manufacturing and delivery.  

However, most start-up founders are either a first-time entrepreneur or a serial entrepreneur who might face difficulties in building a network and ecosystem to get their business up and running. 

Business incubators assist start-ups in finding their feet  by helping shape their ideas into market-ready products through course materials, mentor guidance, workshops, and seminars.  

The COVID-19 era has accelerated digitisation across industries. Virtual incubators are designed to assist with translating business ideas into reality from the comfort of your home!   

What is a Virtual Incubator?  

Incubators are set-up to provide founders with necessary guidance. They help them develop confidence in shaping their ideas into a business model by covering topics that include but are not limited to business strategy, product development, branding and marketing, revenue monitoring, and the likes. 

Virtual incubators  recognise the struggle for start-up founders given the current dynamic and provide a barrier-free platform for founders to complete the course at their own pace, learn to pitch to real investors, and get guidance from international mentors.

Why is a Virtual Incubator important to a start-up?  

For a start-up to become fully-functional whilst iterating its products to better meet customers’ expectations, founders would need to know the fundamentals of running a business. 

Is your business model good enough?  

Does the way you integrate AI into your product optimise its accessibility to your audience? 

Is having a good product the same as having a good business model? 

How should you brand your products? 

These are the handful of questions that a founder should have answers to before investing in their business idea.  

Virtual Incubator will help check all the boxes on your list and ensure that at the end of the program, every founder has a viable and sustainable business model ready for application. 

How to select the right incubator for your company?  

Selecting the right incubator is crucial for  a  start-up entering the industry and this choice of incubator may affect the start-up’s market positioning.  With a sea of incubators in the market, undertaking a SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis is a good start to assess what your business lacks and needs.  

There are virtual incubators  that specialise in specific industries. Understanding your  business’ needs and evaluating incubator portfolios and the content of their programs is essential to ensure a match with your business focus.  

For  more evidence on the program you can  even  contact  start-ups who have benefited from the  particular  incubator  you are interested in to further  decide  if it is the one for your business.  

How do I get into an Incubator Program?  

One thing to take note of is that incubators are selective with the ideas they assist and support. They usually run 12-week intensive programs with a limited number of start-ups in each cohort.  

So  pitch your idea, be  unique, and stand out amongst all other start-ups!  

Here are some things  to remember when you approach an Incubator:  

  1. Pitch Your Idea:  Ideas are dime a dozen. What makes your idea so special? How does it work? And who is your market? What makes it appealing? Do you have the capacity to execute your business plan during the course?  
     
  1. Founder’s Role:  As the founder of the company, be the spokesperson of your product or service and sell your idea confidently.  Ensure you know your idea inside out and communicate your company’s vision, goals, and potential in a clear and concise manner.   
  1. Gust application:  Gust application is common in a lot of incubators. It is a simple yet detailed form that you can apply through. Be as specific as you can whilst applying for an incubator so they fully understand what your business idea and its growth potential. 

Virtual incubator programs are the best way to boost your start-up. Companies like Airbnb, Dropbox, and Reddit were once just ideas  and  have expanded to what they are today with the help of incubators. Be proactive, do your research, and find the best program suited for you and your company to grow and maximise its potential!  

For those who are looking for a Virtual Incubator Program to support their start-up journey, contact us for more information or join our program through the link below.

Article By : Allison Tan and Swapnil Acharya

AI Ventures has an ambition to help build the next generation of AI-driven startups . Our Mentor program is currently running and we welcome innovative startups focusing on AI, Machine Learning and Robotics to apply.

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