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Shuttles, Incubators and Business Accelerators, What are They?

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

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“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

By Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Nowadays, achieving success with your own company is a chimera for the entrepreneur. It is not enough to own an attractive idea, but it is essential to know how to project it effectively, as well as being able to convince the investor. It is in this context that these centers emerge that, far from being NGOs, offer training, a physical space, advice and others to the entrepreneur. Let’s see what they are.

The shuttles

One of the best examples in Spain to illustrate what a shuttle is is Sonar Ventures, whose work, as indicated on its website, is to adapt Internet business models. For this, “we detected scalable business trends and implemented them in the Spanish and Latin American markets”.

In this line, its modus operandi is to select talented personnel, since its objective is to train future entrepreneurs who lead ambitious projects. Even, it is possible that the shuttle uses the idea presented by a certain entrepreneur to turn it into a project that works, that is safe.

The incubators

The incubators of companies can, in numerous occasions, be confused with the previous ones, since they are oriented to the takeoff stage of the companies. These support centers will help the entrepreneur to set up their business and, in addition, will be responsible for evaluating the viability of their project. They offer a physical space to share with other companies in the form of coworking, advisory services, infrastructure, network of contacts and access to financing.

The business incubation process can take up to three years. There are three stages through which the project must pass. In the first place, the pre-incubation stage (around 6 months) has the objective of developing the initial idea in order to elaborate the strategic plan. In second instance, during the incubation stage (from 12 to 18 months) the aforementioned strategic plan is implemented and a follow-up is carried out about its real impact. Finally, in the post-incubation stage (from 6 to 12 months) the necessary changes are put in place to ensure the survival and success of the project.

The accelerators

The accelerators work with projects that have a validated business model. The work of these platforms is to “accelerate” the business and to provide entrepreneurs with intensive training, put them in touch with mentors, offer a space to work and make a seed investment. Also, prepare them for a face-to-face with future investors.

The accelerators do not charge, but in return they demand a percentage of participation in the company that tends to be around 10-15%. In Latin America and Spain the most famous, without a doubt, is Wayra, belonging to Telefónica.

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