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What Are Incubator Programs?

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

Incubator Programs are a powerful tool for early stage start-ups to build the foundation of their business.

Maybe you've heard of the term 'incubator' referring to startups and weren't quite sure what it meant. According to the US Chamber, "A startup incubator is a collaborative program for startup companies — usually physically located in one central workspace — designed to help startups in their infancy succeed by providing workspace, seed funding, mentoring and training."

Since that is a lengthy explanation of start-up incubator programs, let's break it down:

  • First, "A startup incubator is a collaborative program for startup companies" - One of the greatest benefits of a startup incubator program is that it creates an environment for entrepreneurs to work in that is around other entrepreneurs! There's nothing more needed than working with people who push you to think outside of the box and get out of your comfort zone when you're building an enterprise.

  • Next, "... designed to help startups in their infancy succeed..." Incubator Programs are designed for startups that are just starting out. From initial goal setting and idea assessment to preparation for a capital raise, incubators like The Combine Program are designed to assist entrepreneurs on an individual basis.

  • Then, " providing workspace..." Incubators typically offer office space for entrepreneurs. Typically, entrepreneurs can choose to occupy an office space daily or simply use the space. The Combine Incubator is located on Nebraska Innovation Campus and offers private office suites as well as hot desk memberships.

  • Finally, "... seed funding, mentoring and training." Not all incubators provide seed funding, but the resources of the mentorship and office space is a large investment that companies in the incubator are able to take advantage of. Mentorship is the biggest advantage of an incubator program. The Combine offers 8 modules, ranging from goal setting & roadmap to getting ready to raise capital. The companies within the program go through the modules at their own pace, which allows the curriculum to be tailored to each companies needs.

The 8 modules are shown below.

Incubator programs for startups can vary in curriculum and structure, but they are great resources for companies with the capacity to scale.

About The Combine

Invest Nebraska’s Combine Incubator is a statewide initiative focused on supporting high-growth agri-food entrepreneurs through mentoring, commercialization support, physical incubation space on Nebraska's Innovation Campus, and a network of supporting farmers and ranchers across the state. Invest Nebraska is a private, non-profit statewide venture development organization focused on high-growth companies in Nebraska and growing the state’s entrepreneurial economy. Invest Nebraska works directly with entrepreneurs, researchers, and companies to help commercialize their technologies, launch and grow new businesses, and access needed capital.

The Combine Incubator Program would not be possible without our sponsors!

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