In almost all cases, participation in a corporate incubator or accelerator enables entrepreneurs to leverage the parent company’s resources to scale their business, utilize new technologies and access competencies such as regulatory and/or scientific expertise that otherwise might be unavailable to independent startups.
In many instances, involvement with a corporate incubator also can mean sizable financial assistance and professional services (such as legal advice) worth big bucks. For instance, companies participating in Blue Startups, an incubator from Honolulu-based Blue Planet Software, receive $20,000 in cash and a variety of professional services valued at more than $500,000.
Samantha Godfrey, CEO and co-founder of San Diego-based Pharmly, a pharmaceutical bidding marketplace that graduated from the program in June, says her company benefited from mentors who gave guidance for which she would have paid top dollar had she been working on her own, as well as from $60,000 in credit for Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. “Every little bit helped,” she says. “And the fact that it was all right there, at our fingertips, enabled us to do in three months what it would have taken us a year to complete otherwise.”