Everything starts with a clever idea. Be that a business idea that will form the foundation for a later start-up or a new technology, developed within the scope of an academic project. Frequently, such an idea constitutes an invention with real market potential. In this case, it is recommended to protect the “intellectual property” by way of an industrial patent, for instance.
During the beginning stage of a business startup, founders are often faced with different challenges. Questions regarding financing, the business plan, and fear of failure are always present. However, entry into the business is facilitated through so-called incubators. In an incubator, startup projects that are preparing their business startup find a supervised space to develop and grow.
The term incubator originally comes from the fields of medicine and biology, where it is also referred to as a breeder. The principle of an incubator is to create the ideal conditions for breeding and growth processes. For newborns, for instance, the incubator provides an ideal and safe environment for the child to grow. In the field of business startups, this principle can be transferred to young startups. Incubators for startup teams create the best framework conditions that level the successful start into business life for the prospective entrepreneurs. In the special facilities or spaces of the incubator, startups receive support and consultation for their startup project. In addition to the availability of inexpensive rental spaces and infrastructure (e.g., offices, laboratories, or production facilities), founders are also supported with entrepreneurial know-how. Through consultations and coaching sessions by experts form the startup scene, the teams in the incubator are supported in a targeted manner through intensive supervision and their opportunities for growth increase. The incubator, as a focused startup center, simultaneously stands for infrastructure, knowledge, and network. In some cases, incubators also offer startups seed funding and are available to help founders with tips when searching for capital.
With its lively startup culture, Karlsruhe offers young founders some smaller and larger incubators or spaces in the area. A list of links for additional information can be found on our website “Space for Founders .” Especially for scientific spin-offs, the KIT offers a high-tech incubator on Campus North, where 10 startup projects and businesses are currently located.
In the beginning, the chances for success of a startup are often not clearly foreseeable. The startup team works hard on building the business and has at least a subjective feeling about whether they are on track for success with their idea. To make this feeling measurable, so-called “key performance indicators“ (KPIs) are used. But what exactly are KPIs? How do they shed light on progress? Continue reading
Prospective founders considering how best to realize their idea are often faced with the problem of how to finance it. Only few can cover the financial costs for building a business or first products with equity. Therefore, crowdfunding has become established as an alternative form of financing startup projects. But how exactly does crowdfunding work? Continue reading