Over the past couple years I’ve had the chance to talk with several entrepreneurs that are interested in setting up a tech incubator. At the Atlanta Tech Village, we don’t call it an incubator because there’s no equity component. One of the tech incubator discussion topics was around entrance requirements, especially in a B2B context, with a goal of more transparency for applicants.
Here are a few ideas around entrance requirements for a seed-stage B2B tech incubator:
- Aligned Core Values – Entrepreneurs, employees, investors, and everyone else that’s deeply involved need to have aligned core values.
- 10 Paying Customers – Nothing happens until something is sold, and signing up paying customers, even if the revenue is small, is incredibly valuable.
- 3 Reference Customers – Customers that are raving fans, and happy to act as a reference, are critically important.
- Pain-Killer (not vitamin) – While this can be subjective early on, once customers are using the product, it becomes clear if it’s a must-have vs a nice-to-have.
- Clear Path to Scale – Every startup starts small, but the goal is for it to get large, very large, which necessitates a huge addressable market,
Similar to investor requirements, a seed-stage B2B tech incubator would have its own requirements. Regardless, an incubator would do well to publish what it looks for in resident startups and establish guidelines.
What else? What are some other possible entrance requirements for a seed-stage B2B tech incubator?