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Lincubator

Pre-incubation Service

MA 2020/2022
Keywords
Entrepreneurial Paths, Self-development, Matchmaking, Incubator Trial, Entrepreneur Community
Overview

Lincubator is a pre-incubation service that helps inexperienced entrepreneurs match with the right incubation programme in order to extract the most value from incubators and create their unique entrepreneurial pathway. It delivers service through a set of events and a platform that consists of a matchmaking system and trial contract.

Collaboration
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BACKGROUND

9 out of 10 startups fail

Many entrepreneurs who are interested in ethics and sustainability look for opportunities to build ethical businesses as a way to do more than just make a profit. Some of those founders do not have a background in economics, which makes it difficult for them to create a proper business model and effectively attract resources on their own in the early stages of the business.


On the other hand, 9 out of 10 startups fail. But companies that participated in a business incubator had an 87% success rate — nearly double the 44% success rate of businesses that didn't incubate.

RESEARCH AND INSIGHTS

Many inexperienced entrepreneurs have chosen the wrong incubation programmes

As the main source of information for the research, I conducted interviews and co-creating sessions with three main stakeholder groups, passionate entrepreneurs, incubators and industry experts. 


To summarise, Inexperienced passionate entrepreneurs don’t get the proper support to overcome their skill gaps resulting in the disproportionate failure rate of businesses that could have had a positive effect on the world.


The reason inexperienced entrepreneurs don't apply to be part of an incubator is that they lack the whole picture of the entrepreneurial journey and don’t get the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the game. Due to the lack of skills and direction to extract value from incubators and lack of understanding of the emotional intricacies of being an entrepreneur, inexperienced entrepreneurs feel unhelpful even attending an incubation programme.


From the perspective of incubators and experts, entrepreneurs should know their business and incubators. In that case, they can be clear about the stage their businesses are at and what programme they are able to apply for.

MISSION

How might we help inexperienced entrepreneurs extract the most value from incubators by having a pre-incubation session?

SOLUTION

Lincubator is a pre-incubation service that helps inexperienced entrepreneurs extract the most value from incubators by matching them with the right incubation programme.


It consists of three parts - Chemistry Lab, Matchmaking and Open Entrance. These three parts include basic training, community network building, selection of suitable incubators, a matchmaking system and a warm-up incubation trial.


Following this process, the journey starts from knowing oneself to then understanding incubators in order to create their unique entrepreneurial pathway. It delivers service through a set of events and a platform that consists of a matchmaking system and trial contract.


Chemistry Lab

To meet the needs of inexperienced entrepreneurs, “ I want to understand the entrepreneurial journey, get feedback beyond family and friends and have appropriate expectations”, Chemistry Lab provides 3 training sessions.


Entrepreneurs get a quick taste of the complete start-up process through simulation workshops with the help of experts. After reflecting on the whole picture, they can know themselves better and be mentally well prepared.


In the meantime, industry experts, experienced entrepreneurs and peers will be easy to reach out to. Jessies can improve their social skill and build their network naturally. This is the Lincubator community.


In order to help inexperienced entrepreneurs re-shape their ideas, the Pop-up Hackathon seeks out potential users and industry experts through the interpersonal resources of the Lincubator community. In this process, they can break the blind spots and share more realistic ideas.

Match

With a clearer understanding of who they are as entrepreneurs and what they need for their ideas, it’s time to seek the right incubation programme to start the business. The matchmaking system consists of 2 main components: Incubator screening system and entrepreneur review community.


The Lincubator screening system can help users conduct a list of appropriate incubation programmes based on their business and personal profile as an entrepreneur.


Along with the list, an entrepreneurial review from the Lincubator community of each incubator can be a strong reference for Jessies and Billys to understand and choose the right project.

Open Entrance

Compared to the current system of applying for a specific incubation program and starting the incubation cycle, open entrance provides a free trial for inexperienced entrepreneurs to start their business without huges cost of trial and error. It makes ecosystems more open and allows intersections - which might lead to new ideas, resources and pathways. During the trial period, entrepreneurs do not need to commit anything. It’s a period to observe and experience a potential right incubator including the atmosphere, resources, mentorship, space, training etc.

After 10 days of trial, entrepreneurs can choose either to continue or switch to the other 2 incubator trials.

VALUE

Key-Value

Shape passionate innovators as prepared entrepreneurs”


Rather than developing business ideas, Lincubator helps inexperienced entrepreneurs develop themselves to create their own unique entrepreneurial paths, prepare themselves mentally, and build their skills for the potential problems of identity transition and the uncertainty of the entrepreneurial journey.

Implementation

Due to unequal power relationships between entrepreneurs, incubators and investors, finding a balance is key to collaboration. Therefore, the first step is to build a network of young entrepreneurs through university community resources and to encourage entrepreneurs who have participated in incubation programmes to share their experience with the incubator and leave reviews.


At the same time, through authentic sharing and effective community interaction, a community of passionate innovators with diverse ideas is built. These business ideas, along with the community, now become a true resource that can attract incubators to the platform.


Finally, the evaluation criteria for incubators will also become more diverse through the open and accessible paths between incubators and entrepreneurs. This will benefit both entrepreneurs and the entire ecosystem.

SPECIAL
THANKS

Special thanks to Nick from NatWest Group for his brilliant professional advice, to my tutor Nicolas and other tutors, Kam and Judah, who inspired and guided me throughout the journey. I would also like to give special thanks to all the entrepreneurs and experts for your valuable time and feedback.

Team
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