Incubators are now some of the most powerful organisations in the world. When you look at the number of company successes that are attributed to incubators, it quickly becomes clear that they are responsible for billions of dollars of company value.
Even simple association with some of the following incubators makes a company more attractive to investors and makes them more likely to get initial funding, increased value in an IPO or additional capital during a buyout. These companies truly have a huge effect on the eventual outcomes of a company even after the startup stage.
Y Combinator is undoubtedly the most famous and successful incubator on the planet. It boasts companies like airbnb, reddit and Dropbox as alumni who have been funded and supported by it. Since 2005 it has funded 700 startups and the combined valuation of all of these companies is now over $30 billion.
ATP is Australia’s largest business incubator and was recently awarded the ‘Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year Award’. Concentrating mainly on technology and pharmaceutical innovations, but with success in IT and engineering also, they have had 8 of their portfolio companies sold and have worked with more than 80 businesses.
Clean Tech Open
Concentrating on new innovations within clean technology, Clean Tech Open is making ground not only assisting green innovations, but also ethical ones. They have worked with over 865 companies in the US alone, helping these companies to raise capital of over $865 million. Combined with this is their status as a not-for-profit, meaning they are not only ethical and efficient, but also incredibly busy.
Whilst many concentrate on ‘tech’ companies, MaRs looks at work & learning, health and energy. Based in Ontario, Canada, they are taking a strategic look at what is needed in the future of society as well as giving as much support as possible to their startups. It means that whilst these companies can grow, so can their benefit to the world.
Rocket Internet GmbH
Despite having a relatively disappointing IPO (the share price dropped by 10% in the first day of trading) they are still Europe’s most successful incubator. Having a huge share in the e-commerce market outside of the US and China, they are looking at technology startups and sites in a different way. They have also made significant profits from investing in companies at the right time, such as Groupon, eBay, Facebook and Linkedin.
Boasting one of the most impressive mentor lists, Techstars is making a waves in the way that companies are supported and funded. Boasting a portfolio including Contently, Keen.io and Orbotix, they are helping to build impressive organisations and with over $845 million in funding for these companies, other’s seem to have a similar view.
Kickstarter is the ultimate incubator-that-isn’t-an-incubator. Through providing the general public access to any idea that people want to put on the site, it allows good ideas to be backed financially and poor ideas to be inexpensively let down. As well as that, it gives ‘backers’ the opportunity to talk to owners of the product and the product owners can therefore crowdsource ideas. With companies like Pebble, it is very much the jumping off point before moving onto other innovation incubators (in that case Y Combinator).