Most of the times, we use coworking spaces and incubators as synonyms but there are certain differences between the two. Each of these spaces has a specific reason for their existence. Though the concept and design of both coworking spaces and incubators are similar, the reasons for their existence differ.
Coworking means a community formed by the independents. This offers a wide variety of membership levels for one specific community of like-minded professionals at a central office. Coworking has proved to be a major appeal to the freelancers, startups and small businesses. By opting to adopt the coworking model, you will have an opportunity to work alongside several other like-minded dynamic professionals instead of working in isolation.
Over the last one decade, the coworking spaces have evolved a big way. In 2018, there’re an estimated of more than 10 million professionals across the globe who operates from the coworking spaces. The occupants of the coworking spaces are not merely first-time founders any more. While this is true that the specific perks of the different coworking spaces differ to a certain extent, the cost savings and convenience are certainly at the core of this particular business model. Members of the coworking spaces usually anticipate some level of flexibility which can fit their budget and also the convenience they can enjoy working at any hour.
Incubators are being introduced with the aim of stimulating high-growth venture-backed ambitious startups. An incubator is apt for those intellectual and ambitious entrepreneurs who are aiming to build high-growth companies. Around one-third of the incubators that exist are being funded and sponsored by the organizations which are engaged in economic development. The admins of the incubators always hope and aim to discover promising young startups to include in their portfolio. The reason behind this is the young entrepreneurs can contribute a lot to the entire community through their education, guidance, connections and resources. All of these can propel all the businesses operating from that incubator to grow their ventures in a fast pace.
Startup incubators are at times referred to as “business school” which focuses on the real-time case-based learning of the various businesses and the participants utilize the knowledge to grow their own startups. The leading incubators offer the programs to the entrepreneurs for free. The entrepreneurs who are willing to enter a business incubation program are supposed to apply for an admission. There are several parameters like the age of the company, prototypes, existing funding and few other criteria are taken into consideration while screening the entrepreneurs for a special incubation program.
Simply joining any incubator doesn’t guarantee that your startup would benefit out of the incubator. The entrepreneurs should keep this in mind that the mentoring community in a prospective incubator should be of specific but not generic value. The specific value should be relevant to your nature of the business.
The well-regarded incubators are found to be notoriously selective and make it a point to accept only those members which are at its earliest stages of their startup launch. The entrepreneurs who are willing to join these incubators are required to discuss their business plan at the time of application & interview proceedings. Finally, only those business entrepreneurs are selected for the incubation program which would be relevant to the discussions in the program that is directed by the experienced & seasoned founders. This is to be kept in mind that an incubator membership is a temporary one and usually do not lasts for more than 4 months. Those budding entrepreneurs who are willing to launch their startups usually opt for the incubation programs in the incubators.
So, we can easily differentiate between a coworking space and an incubator after reading this. We can conclude that an incubator is an incubation program which are usually attended by the budding entrepreneurs who are about to launch their startups or have just launched their startups whereas a coworking space is all about community-based working in a well-resourced common office with all amenities which is equally beneficial for the startups, freelancers, small business owners as well as the large corporations due to the benefits and flexibilities it offers.