To get a business going, especially if it’s your first one, may be a challenge. Even more so if you wish to venture into a new sector or want to scale up. Luckily, there are people who can help: it’s much easier to take the plunge when you have the support of business incubators or venture capital funds such as Black Pearls VC. Whatever your choice, you should know what to expect from incubators and how the venture capital can assist you.
Nobody is born a great businessman. Even the best business idea and most talented owner must be backed with legal and administrative know-how, experience and contacts. It may take years to get there. But there are solutions available that can offer you a mild kick-off and accelerate the path to business maturity. One of such opportunities are business incubators, which are usually organised by universities and public institutions, or cooperation with venture capital funds. The key difference between these two will depend on the current stage of a startup’s development. A business incubator may prove useful when the phase you are going through can be compared to a kindergarten or early primary school. Venture capital funds is more like college, or even one’s first job time.
A smooth take-off
The kindergarten parallel is not at all meant to be depreciative. All of us need a safe haven when taking our first steps, where we are pampered with good care, friendly surroundings and other group members. We learn the rules, the basics of and writing and counting. Business incubators, often organised by universities or public institutions, offer such receptive environment to beginners. Legal and accounting advice, inexpensive space rental and office infrastructure – all this is crucial for an early stage business. Actually, no business registration may be necessary for a start, as many incubators lend its participants legal personality, thus enabling them to put off the formal authorisation till later. Equally important (and in time – even more important) are the networking possibilities. At an incubator, often in shared office space, many people of varied specialization meet, contributing with their first success and failure stories. Such chance to exchange experience is priceless.
Where the real fun starts
A young entrepreneur, now equipped by the incubator with some basic business competencies, may now face the market reality. This is where the real work starts, the life belt is not there any more. But a lot of time will pass before he or she works out their own business model and wins his own place in the market. But this path has a shortcut.
“A venture capital fund like ours offers startups know-how and experience,” says Jakub Ołów, a Black Pearls VC Analyst. “We introduce the young entrepreneurs into the world of experts and endorse their projects. Importantly, we don’t only support them in polishing up their business skills. The startups we take care of also conduct active research projects. If that potential is to be used properly, our prospective young partners should come to us with well-developed ideas, taking account of the basic business issues. They should be able to construct business plans and have the understanding of market context – skills and capabilities that may be gained during business incubation”.