The start-up journey does not have to be a lonely one. Aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start-up can apply for a co-working space or in an incubator and work in an environment surrounded by entrepreneurs just like them. However, there is a difference in a co-working space and a community-centric incubator. An incubator such as BLOCK71 offers much more to its members on top of a co-working space. Here are a few reasons why you should join a community-centric incubator as an upcoming start-up.
1. Incubation Support and Services
While a co-working space simply offers a hot-desk to work at, an incubator provides more than that, offering incubation support and services to the members of its community. In the case of BLOCK71, start-ups receive incubation support and start-up review sessions to assess their growth and to build their milestones, all of which is often assisted by their local community managers.
These services include:
- NUS Enterprise’s Start-up Validation Programme
- Various funding support schemes such as the SPRING Startup SG Tech Grant
- Networks to investors, mentors, realtors, etc
- Access to legal, PR, accounting advice
- Overseas Market Access
- Discounted software packages
Aside from incubation support, start-ups in a community-centric incubator have access to a network of mentors whom they can approach for advice and feedback on growing their start-up. These mentors have a great deal of experience in the industry and most likely were start-up founders themselves at one point of time. With such experience, newer start-up founders are not completely lost in times of crisis and are able to consult their mentors for advice.
For example at Hangar by NUS Enterprise, they have several residential mentors such as Choo Voon Yim who served as Director of North America Investments and EDB Ventures Management, Loh Kean Chong who provides consultancy services to a number of life science companies in Singapore, and Florence Leong, the Founder & Director of BioVation Management Pte Ltd.
For a full list of advisors under NUS Enterprise and their achievements, visit the NUS Enterprise website here.
3. Access to Networks of Business Partners
Under normal circumstances, a newly formed start-up will not have enough connections in their segment to easily find business partners to collaborate and scale. Fortunately, incubators have access to an established network of business partners who they can refer to the start-ups depending on their needs. Incubators such as BLOCK71 at times offer exclusive meetings and pitches for its members, opening up opportunities for them to network with business partners and investors associated with the incubator.
4. Collaborative workspaces
Similar to a co-working space, start-ups working at an incubator tend to work at hotdesks. However, with community events, such as Founder’s breakfast, being held by the incubator to network start-ups under them with one another, the community between the start-ups is formed which builds better relations with one another as opposed to start-ups simply working at neighbouring desks. Start-ups can collaborate with each other or simply share experiences to get start-up advice from their peers and learn from each other’s mistakes.
5. Global and Local Community
Incubators are more community focused than co-working spaces, some of which will conduct internal events or support external events. These events are aimed at bringing the local tech and start-up community together and may even expand to include the global community at times. The events conducted seek to catalyse start-up opportunities for the members of the incubator and open up new networks to the start-ups.
6. Local Incorporation and Setup Support
In the case of BLOCK71, BLOCK71 offers start-ups with access to the understandings of local culture and its ecosystem to keep them up-to-date and in touch with their target audience. BLOCK71 being in multiple locations such as Singapore, Suzhou, San Francisco, and Jakarta, each local community manager is well-equipped to make each start-up feel right at home and in sync with the local culture.
With everything a community-centric incubator has to offer, start-ups under an incubator definitely have an edge over those in a co-working space. Should an entrepreneur be starting their very first start-up, it is highly recommended that they join an incubator to assist them in their start-up journey. However, despite all these benefits, the start-up journey is still not an easy one and entrepreneurs ultimately must put in work for their start-up to take off.
BLOCK71 is one of these community-centric incubators and welcomes aspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups to join the BLOCK71 community. If you are an entrepreneur looking for a incubator with all of the above benefits, apply here to be a part of BLOCK71.