Over 80-percent of startups go-under within the first year of founding. That explains the popularity of startup incubators among entrepreneurs and small businesses. An incubator is a collaborative program designed to assist startups and help them reach a level of stability. They provide much needed counsel, seed funding, mentorship, and access to business connections that prove vital in the long run. While many successful entrepreneurs become a part of incubator programs to give back to the system; many educational institutions take startups under their wings aided by funding from the government.
With almost two-thirds of the country’s population under 30, Pakistan is a bustling hub of entrepreneurial ideas. The youth spurred by success of their global peers is increasingly setting out to make its mark in the local markets. The increase in the number of new startups in the last few years is a testimony to the intent of the fresh grads to create their own success stories.
However, great ideas and intent only make up one half of the equation. They need critical tools and capital in order to succeed. This is where incubators play a pivotal role and help them succeed. The rise in the number of private and state funded incubators in recent years augurs well for the startup ecosystem. Pakistan has over 30 incubators that are actively working with local startups and helping them make a mark.
For incubator success
There’s a clear advantage for early stage startups to take help of incubator expertise to get their venture off the ground and put it on growth path. The enrollment comes with certain qualifying criteria and there’s usually a selection process involved.
The startups on their part should also do their homework about the incubator. It is important to find an incubator that is the best fit for the business. Some of the crucial factors to consider are:
Services Offered – Each incubator differs in its service offering. While the most alluring factor remains their ability to provide mentorship and strategic guidance. Some organizations also provide startups with access to infra, marketing, accounting and legal services.
Network – This is probably the single-most critical aspect that one should look for. The quality of mentors, associates, and industry connections speaks volumes about the pedigree of an incubator. The incubators’ resourcefulness in bringing VCs and angel investors when it comes to funding is just as crucial.
Track Record – When evaluating an incubator, consider their past performance. Look at the businesses they have launched and how well those launches are performing in the real world. No other parameter is a better yardstick to an incubator performance than the startups they have worked with.
Peer group – Another critical aspect to choosing an incubator is their current list of mentees. The learning from peer group can be immensely useful for a startup that is trying to establish itself. This ecosystem creates an opportunity for knowledge sharing and exchanging valuable ideas and concepts.
For entrepreneurs who are raring to bring their ideas to life, incubators provide them with invaluable tools to succeed in form of education, capital, and strategic guidance. They are making it possible for many startups to launch and thrive.
We bring you a big list of major incubators from Pakistan and across the globe. These incubators are known to foster startup ecosystem and bringing some of the biggest brands to life.