To incubate or not to incubate – that is the question


The Business Innovation Center at Florida State University Panama City is structured around a modern proven business incubation model.  That’s simple enough to say, but actually describing what the benefits are to a new startup takes a little time.

Business incubation is not a guarantee of success, but it will reduce your odds of failure considerably.  Statistically only 40% of startups succeed on their own.  Startups associated with incubators increase their odds to 90%.

So here are the beginning steps to take your idea and build a business around it.

1.    Idea Generation – what is your Big Idea?

2.    Planning – build a business plan that will take the idea from concept to revenue.

3.    Getting started – the standard things that every business has to do.  

First: the reality check

Spend some time taking “inventory” of what you have to start with.  How much money will you have available for the first 12 months of your business?  How much time are you going to put into it on a daily basis?  What resources do you have available to help you get things going? 

Second: get someone else on your team

Don’t let the reality check discourage you from going to the next step which is talking your idea over with a trusted advisor of some kind.  It is not really important that this person fully gets your idea, but that he or she will be someone you trust and is honest and willing to express their opinions. Someone with whom you feel comfortable discussing all of your thoughts about the idea. Their opinions aren’t as important as their feedback about your feeling about the idea.  When you hear someone else repeat your idea back to you, it often turns a light bulb on that you needed to better express and shape the idea.

Third:  start your engine

This is where a modern business incubator comes in.  Once you are convinced that you want to pursue your business idea, it’s time to sit down with someone that will help you start putting the pieces of the puzzle in place.  Their job is to help you visualize what steps you will have to take transform your idea into a revenue producing reality.  They can offer you a range of assistance with low cost office space, business plan writing, branding, sales and marketing advice, and legal resources to form and protect your business idea. There is great value in having advisors to help you along the way, and provide ideas on sources of additional capital to fuel your startup.  A big part of the value of the incubation model is to reduce the time it takes to get your business formed and producing results. 

Remember success is process and having someone help you with that process is the most likely way to get the results you want.


Mike Ross
Site Manager, Business Innovation Center
President at 4PSA – CLOUD CALLING – Cloud OnDemand – Virtual Phone Systems – Hosted UC, Orlando, Florida Area

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