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In July 2016, there were more than 60 incubators in Québec. With so many choices, how can you choose the one that fits your business project? Here are some tips.
Our country is becoming a hotbed for entrepreneurship, with a whole ecosystem developing to support it. Business incubators illustrate this trend and are multiplying in Montreal. However, each has its own characteristics. Here is a guide to help you make the right choice, with tips from Christian Perron, Executive Director of PME MTL, a network of experts in financing that supports entrepreneurs in the city.
1- Choose the right incubator for your industry
Some incubators welcome a large number of entrepreneurs in robotics, others in communications and IT, and some in life sciences. “A new entrepreneur needs support when starting a business,” states Christian Perron. “It’s also reassuring for future investors to see that the business is guided by people who know the industry well. We are stronger together than alone in our corner.”
2- Analyze the services offered
A few incubators only offer a work space at low cost for startups, but most also offer support services. “For example, some provide coaching to help complete the different stages related to starting a business, others rely on a training program or offer financing,” explains Christian Perron. Since an office space is no longer a necessity for several businesses in the knowledge economy, many incubators also provide services to entrepreneurs remotely. It is therefore a matter of determining your needs.
3- Evaluate the costs and benefits of using an incubator
What is the cost of a place in an incubator? That is the question! The fees vary from one incubator to another. “Often, a business will pay a monthly rent to the incubator and can order customized services,” says Christian Perron. Nevertheless, there are exceptions, such as the incubators of some universities that offer completely free services. Others provide a space at no charge to their incubated businesses, but take share capital.
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