Originally I had plans to write an article which did a comparison between several tech incubator programs that are out there which help launch products and ideas starting with nothing more than a simple pitch or video. I did some quick research to find a directory listing of all the incubators and then found this article. They did exactly what I was about to do which was list all the incubator programs, talk about what each one brings to the table, what they take away (usually a percentage of the company), and some of their key successes. Unfortunately, they miss out on two new key incubators: GrowLab & FounderFuel. See their features after the jump.
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Cash: Up to $25,000
Provides: Four months of startup work and mentor-ship, three of which are spent in Vancouver and one in San Francisco. You’ll have to relocate to participate in the program, as is the case with most incubator programs. They provide office space for the duration.
Their take: unknown.
Location: Montreal, Canada
Cash: $10,000 for the project plus $5,000 per person
Provides: 3 month startup program packed with guest lectures, presentations and direct feedback on your product and progress. You have to find your own place in Montreal for the 3 months but you aren’t required to stay there afterwards. They offer office space in the notman house which looks modern and prone to productivity. Also: unlimited Redbull and coffee for us caffeine junkies.
Their take: 6% of the company.
So what are my feelings on all these startup incubators? Do it all. Apply to all of the incubator programs. The help, mentor-ship and experience they will bring to your startup equate to years of startup failures and successes. Y-Combinator alone has over 300 success stories such as justin.tv and Dropbox.
Got rejected by the programs? You’ll have still gained from them simply by applying. The applications feature requirements such as your portfolio of web related work, a clear and concise sales pitch and most importantly: the team. Ideas can be fine-tuned, revenue models can be changed but a bad team stays just that, bad. If you don’t get along before even starting a project just imagine what days of no sleep and non-stop coding will do to your team. In the end, if you truly think your idea will be successful then run with it, with or without the incubator programs, but definitely apply.