As a result of this training, you will
Appreciate your special role in developing your local, regional, and national economy.
Take steps to improve your delivery of services to your client firms.
Commit to lead your program in an entrepreneurial fashion.
Develop a compelling value proposition to offer entrepreneurs and innovators.
Participate in a visible way to develop your regional entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Create a pitch to persuade partners to assist your incubation program and clients.
You must Advocate for entrepreneurs.
The entrepreneurial community is significant and growing, but it is still dwarfed by other sectors such as government, corporations, education, large-scale manufacturing and so forth. You have a vital role in highlighting the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in your communities. You must help ensure government policies make it easier to launch new companies. You must understand and embrace entrepreneurs by acting entrepreneurially yourself. You must champion local success stories that serve as models for new entrepreneurs.
3. You must Add value to your clients.
For you to attract quality entrepreneurs and the companies they are launching, you must offer obvious value to them. Other than your programs and services, this value comes in the form of relationships startups can access from your incubation program that they cannot get on their own or elsewhere. You must be able to introduce them to services providers, mentors and advisors, investors, subject matter experts, customers, potential key team members, recruiters, corporate partners, and so forth.
2. You must Reduce Risk in startups.
Startups are inherently risky. Most founders haven’t started a company before. Most investors and bankers prefer companies with more of a track record before financing them. Most products or services need a good deal of work before they are ready to displace competitors in the market. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to offer a portfolio of robust programs and services to mitigate the risks of starting and growing a new company.
4. You must Participate in the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem.
You must be visible to be relevant. You must sponsor activities and events that entrepreneurs will attend. You must attend events where entrepreneurs will be. You must know and engage the various stakeholders of the Startup Community such as entrepreneurs, government officials, universities, investors, service providers, large companies, and other entrepreneurial support organizations—what Brad Feld calls leaders, feeders, and instigators.
The profession of Incubation Manager demands an “all-in” mentality. It is hard work. But it is rewarding work. You will meet some of the most interesting people alive. You will experience tangible results from your efforts. You will be making a difference in your communities. You will be changing the futures of many people in a positive way.