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1.1 BUSINESS INCUBATION
Business incubation is a business support process that accelerates the successful development of
start-up and fledgling companies by providing entrepreneurs with an array of targeted resources
and services. These services are usually developed or orchestrated by incubator management and
offered both in the business incubator and through its network of contacts. A business
incubator‘s main goal is to produce successful firms that will leave the program financially
viable and freestanding. These incubator graduates have the potential to create jobs, revitalize
neighborhoods, commercialize new technologies, and
strengthen local and national economies.
Critical to the definition of an incubator is the provision
of management guidance, technical assistance and
consulting tailored to young growing companies.
Incubators usually also provide clients access to
appropriate rental space and flexible leases, shared
basic business services and equipment, technology
support services and assistance in obtaining the
financing necessary for company growth.
Incubators vary in the way they deliver their services, in their organizational structure and in the
types of clients they serve. Highly adaptable, incubators have differing goals, including
diversifying rural economies, providing employment for and increasing wealth of depressed
inner cities, and transferring technology from universities and major corporations. Incubator
clients are at the forefront of developing new and innovative technologies – creating products
and services that improve the quality of our lives in communities around the world.
The earliest incubation programs focused on a variety of technology companies or on a
combination of light industrial, technology and service firms – today referred to as mixed-use
incubators. However, in more recent years, new incubators have emerged targeting industries
such as food processing, medical technologies, space and ceramics technologies, arts and crafts,
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and software development. Incubator sponsors have also targeted programs to support
microenterprise creation, the needs of women and minorities, environmental endeavors and
telecommunications. Business incubation programs are often sponsored by private companies or
municipal entities and public institutions, such as colleges and universities. Their goal is to help
create and grow young businesses by providing them with necessary support and financial and
technical services. There are approximately 900 business incubators nationwide, according to the
National Business Incubation Association.
Incubators provide numerous benefits to owners of startup businesses. Their office and
manufacturing space is offered at below-market rates, and their staff supplies advice and much-
needed expertise in developing business and marketing plans as well as helping to fund fledgling
businesses. Companies typically spend average of two years in a business incubator, during
which time they often share telephone, secretarial office, and production equipment expenses
with other startup companies, in an effort to reduce everyone's overhead and operational costs.If
an incubation program seems interesting to you, be prepared to submit a fleshed-out business
plan. The plan will be reviewed by a screening committee to determine whether or not you meet
the criteria for admission. Incubators carefully screen potential businesses because their space,
equipment, and finances are limited, and they want to be sure they're choosing to nurture
businesses with the best possible chance for success.
A Business Incubator is a facility designed to assist businesses to become established and
profitable during their incubation period. Incubatee come from individuals interested in
promoting an innovative idea that they have so that it becomes a business, yet they may have no
skills in business. Consequently they need to learn more to change the concept into business. The
second category of incubatees may be people who have clear documented business concepts
based on an innovative idea they already have but which again may not be converted into
business due to resource constraints. They could also be businesses that are already set up and
running but need to be boosted to grow. Each one of them needs a different approach to convert
them into vibrant business outfits. The figure above describes the approaches that can be used to
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Services Provided by Incubator
Incubation program ensures that an individual seeking to start or promote the growth of their
enterprise has easy access to the knowledge, experience in management, and financial resources.
Invariably business incubators will provide a variety of resources or resourcefulness which may
include the following:
A Full Time Manager
The incubation period for an individual business is normally one to three years. The
management, and board of directors of incubator, invests time and money in a feasibility studies
to lay the groundwork for a successful incubation program. To set up an incubator, company will
need to conduct an effective feasibility study, which will help determine whether the proposed
project has all the factors crucial to an incubator‘s success which include:
A solid market
A sound financial base
Strong community support and
A policy support perspective to attract government linkage.
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1.2 BUSINESS INCUBATORS
Definition: An organization designed to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial
companies through an array of business support resources and services that could include
physical space, capital, coaching, common services, and networking connections
Business incubatorsare programs designed to support the successful development of
entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services,
developed and orchestrated by incubator management and offered both in the incubator and
through its network of contacts. Incubators vary in the way they deliver their services, in their
organizational structure, and in the types of clients they serve. Successful completion of a
business incubation program increases the likelihood that a startup company will stay in business
for the long term: older studies found 87% of incubator graduates stayed in business, in contrast
to 44% of all firms.Incubators differ from research and technology parks in their dedication to
startup and early-stage companies. Research and technology parks, on the other hand, tend to be
large-scale projects that house everything from corporate, government or university labs to very
small companies. Most research and technology parks do not offer business assistance services,
which are the hallmark of a business incubation program. However, many research and
technology parks house incubation programs.
How Can Incubators Improve The Start-Up Ecosystem In India?
They can play a very big role. However, we need incubators that attract the best talent and
mentors, as well as interest from corporates. A compact program targeting commercially viable
products with a goal to launch products will work very well. The Centre for Innovation
Incubation and Entrepreneurship at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, the
incubator at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and others have done well, but we need to
multiply this 1,000 times.
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Surprisingly, most incubators have research and development as their goal, not successful start-
ups. The Morpheus is doing a virtual incubator on the lines of the Y Combinator (one of the most
successful incubators in the US) in India, and has produced good companies. We need more such
programs. Apart from the government, a lot needs to be done by India Inc. It will be a pleasure to
see the likes of Infosys, Wipro, Reliance, L&T and Tata‘s opening up, perhaps, just a tiny part of
their real estate for incubators.
To Whom Incubators Incubate?
An incubator is an institution that has the advisory support services that can promote others to
grow. They are therefore well versed with the governing corporate law, a talented and
experienced board of directors which applies rigorous selection processes to incubatees. They
ensure that only those with a viable business propositions are accepted for incubation. The
incubatees may be:
Trainees in a business development programme whose innovative ideas attract the
financing eye of the incubating institution
Individuals with innovative ideas and a supporting business concept and an
accompanying business plan, or
Businesses that have gone through the startup phase but now need support to reach
proliferation but lack the know-how or financial resources
The level of entry and the effort required to make incubatees rise to sustainable institutions
determines the equity premium that the incubator would levy for the incubation effort.
Depending on an organization the incubator could take 5-15% stake in return for an incubation
period tenancy which could be 1-3 years and the support services received from the incubation.
This equity requirement acts as a filtering mechanism by determining that entrepreneurs wanting
to enter the incubator growth programme understand that ultimately, they probably will have to
give up equity in order to raise capital. The moral of this equity expectation is to enable the
incubator attain financial sustainability and hence reduce dependence on external funding from
either donors or government.
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Indicators To Best Assess The Businesses To Be Incubated
The best indicators should be derived from the business plan but should include the following:
The business plan itself with all the elements that comprise an effective plan
Availability of market
Growth of market out turn
Sales growth and associated profitability
A well-formed governance structure for self-perpetuation
Possible Investors Who Would Encourage Support Of New Technology
The Constituency Development Fund
Large corporate institutions
Figure 1: BUSINESS INCUBATION
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1.3 HISTORY OF BUSINESS INCUBATION
The formal concept of business incubation began in the USA in 1959 when Joseph Mancuso
opened the Batavia Industrial Center in a Batavia, New York, warehouse. Incubation expanded
in the U.S. in the 1980s and spread to the UK and Europe through various related forms. The
U.S.-based National Business Incubation Association estimates that there are about 7,000
incubators worldwide. As of October 2006, there were more than 1,400 incubators in North
America, up from only 12 in 1980. Her Majesty's Treasury identified around 25 incubation
environments in the UK in 1997; by 2005, UKBI identified around 270 incubation environments
across the country. A study funded by the European Commission in 2002 identified around 900
incubation environments in Western Europe.
Incubation activity has not been limited to developed countries; incubation environments are
now being implemented in developing countries and raising interest for financial support from
organizations such as UNIDO and the World Bank. On November 3, 2010, New York City broke
ground on its sixth business incubator and the first in the Bronx called the Sunshine Bronx
Business Incubator which is a joint venture between the New York City Economic Development
Corporation and Sunshine Suites. Incubators are going through a renaissance as of 2011. New
experiments like Virtual Business Incubators are bringing the resources of entrepreneurship hubs
like Silicon Valley to remote locations all over the world.
The Batavia Industrial Center, commonly known as the first U.S. business incubator, opened in
Batavia, N.Y., in 1959. But the concept of providing business assistance services to early-stage
companies in shared facilities did not catch on with many communities until at least the late
1970s. In 1980, approximately 12 business incubators were operating in the United States – all of
them in the industrial Northeast, which had been hard-hit by plant closures in the previous
decade. Throughout the 1980s, business incubation industry growth was swift, as a few
farsighted individuals saw the limitations of common economic development strategies that
focused solely on industry attraction and large corporate expansions. As others began to
recognize the value of creating and expanding new businesses to sustain local economies, more
communities developed business incubators to support these new ventures. Three major activities
drove industry growth during the period:
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In the mid-1980s, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) strongly promoted
incubator development, holding a series of regional conferences to disseminate
information about incubation. The SBA also published a newsletter and several incubator
handbooks during the period. As a result of these activities, incubator development grew
from about 20 openings annually in 1984 to more than 70 in 1987.
In 1982, the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted Walter Plosila‘s design for the state‘s Ben
Franklin Partnership Program, one of the country‘s first comprehensive technology and
manufacturing agendas. This program, which included incubators as a key component,
became an early model for other states‘ support of business incubation.
Control Data Corporation, under the direction of company founder William Norris,
became one of the earliest supporters of the business incubation industry. With a belief
that large companies should work with government and other sectors to address major
societal needs, Norris formed City Venture Corporation (CVC), a Control Data division
that developed business incubators in several large and small cities. Several successful
incubators that were initially developed with assistance from CVC – including the
Entrepreneurial Center in Birmingham, Ala., and the Pueblo Business & Technology
Center in Pueblo, Colo. – still exist today.
In more recent years, communities around the world have embraced the business incubation
concept. In Columbus, Ohio; Birmingham, Ala.; Troy, N.Y.; Atlanta; San Jose, Calif.;
Philadelphia; Canberra, Australia; Shanghai, China; Coventry, England; and in many other
places, model incubation programs have become deeply respected institutions. Recognizing the
need for information sharing within this new growth industry, business incubation leaders
formed the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) in 1985 to provide training and
tools for assisting start-up and fledgling firms and to serve as a clearinghouse for information on
incubator management and development issues. The association‘s membership has grown from
approximately 40 members in its first year to approximately 1600 in 2006.
As far as the Indian scenario is concerned, the National Science and Technology
Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) launched the Science and Technology
Entrepreneurs Parks (STEP) in the early 1980‘s, and the Technology Business Incubators (TBI)
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in the beginning of 2000.Our country has nearly 120 incubators and science parks which have
nurtured over 1150 entrepreneurs up to 2008.NSTEDB has so far created 53 technology business
incubators in collaboration with premier academic and research institutes with an investment of
Rs.100 crores and the cumulative revenue generated by these incubated enterprises now stands at
Figure 2: HISTORY OF BUSINESS INCUBATION
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1.4 OBJECTIVES OF BUSINESS INCUBATION
In both developed and developing economies, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are
considered crucial to fostering economic and social development and their growth is supported
with a wide range of policies as outlined above.
The failure rate of small new businesses in their initial years is high in both developed
and developing economies. In part this reflects the competitive environment within which the
businesses are launched and also the effectiveness of the specific business idea. It is also a
consequence of the lack of experience of the entrepreneur who is launching the business and
deficiencies in the environment (i.e. shortage of capital, legal difficulties, lack of information,
etc.). A wide range of initiatives are supported by governments to try and reduce business failure
rates through addressing problems in the environment (i.e. special loan funds, removing legal
obstacles, reducing government administrative procedures and speeding up their operation) and
by assisting new entrepreneurs to tackle their lack of experience (training programs, advisory and
support services, etc.).
Figure 3: BUSINESS INCUBATION LIFE CYCLE.
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1.5 BENEFITS OF BUSINESS INCUBATION
Incubator staff serve as advisors to all client companies holding regular as well as informal
meetings with each client to address strategic and tactical needs. They work with the client
company to identify areas of need and to identify expertise and resources to address them.
Referrals will be made to relevant professional advisors and other sources of business and
Shared basic operating costs Tenants in a business incubator share a
wide range of overhead costs, including utilities, office equipment, computer services,
conference rooms, laboratories, and receptionist services. In addition, basic rent costs are usually
below normal for the region in which the fledgling business is operating, which allows
entrepreneurs to realize additional savings. It is worth noting, however, that incubators do not
allow tenants to remain in the program forever; most lease agreements at incubator facilities run
for three years, with some programs offering one or two one-year renewal options.
Finances & Accounting
Areas of Assistance - Assistance with budgeting, tax and reporting issues can be provided by
appropriate Incubator organizations. Capital needs, possible sources for obtaining capital,
timeframe, structure of deals, and alternatives will be discussed by the company, Incubator
management, the Advisory Board and other advisors as needed.
Strategy Assessment - Incubator management, the Mentoring Team and other business service
providers will review intellectual property strategy. Advisors will provide direction to client
companies in this area and help to identify resources and/or professional assistance.
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Legal Guidance - The Incubator maintains relationships with a number of law firms that provide
some level of pro bono assistance and/or reduced rates for Incubator clients. One or more of the
partner attorneys are on-site at the Incubator each month to meet with you and provide guidance
Individual Services -The Business Incubation Program provides all clients with a
businessaddress, mail service, Internet connection, and conference/meeting rooms
The following services are offered:
Shared office equipment (fax, laser printer, copier)
Other miscellaneous equipment
Public Relations & Marketing
Strategy Assessment - Incubator management, the Mentoring Team and other business service
providers will review strategies.
Sales Strategies and Referrals - Incubator management and advisors will assist clients in
developing sales strategies and understanding the sales process. If necessary, referrals will be
made to professional service providers who can further assist in developing and implementing
effective sales strategies.
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1.6 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
For this project Descriptive Research method has been used. Structured interview of
the CEO - MR. VIKRAM VORA of MyDentist was conducted on 21st September 2013.
JUNE to SEPTEMBER
Data computation: 25 hours (editing, typing)
Presentation and collecting primary data: 20 hours
Total time: 45 hours
PRIMARY DATA: The primary data for this particular project is STRUCTURED
PERSONAL INTERVIEW WITH VIKRAM VORA ON 21/0/13
SECONDARY DATA: The secondary data is obtained by the websites, handbooks, etc.
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2. AN OVERVIEW OF GLOBAL AND INDIAN BUSINESS
Business incubators are designed to nurture the development of newly formedentrepreneurial
companies by providing them with an array of targeted businesssupport services and resources,
which include: management guidance, technicaladvice, consulting, appropriate rental space,
shared basic business services andequipment, networking support, marketing assistance, and
financing necessary forcompany growth. The most common goals of incubation programs are to
improve thesurvival and growth of new startup firms substantially, create jobs and
wealth,enhance entrepreneurial climate, create and retain businesses, commercialize
newtechnologies, build or accelerate growth in a local industry, and diversify economies. The
earliest incubation programs focused on a variety of technology companies or on a combination
of light industrial, technology and service firms. However, in more recent years, they are
targeting industries such as food processing, medical technologies, space and ceramics
technologies, arts and crafts, telecommunicationsand software development. Incubator sponsors
have also focused on microenterprisecreation, the needs of women and minorities, and
environmental endeavors. Althoughthe business incubation centers have come of age, the
unavailability of adequate andreliable information about them is a major concern which needs to
be addressed.The definitions of business incubation vary markedly from country to country
andinformation flows are sporadic. Therefore, the numbers of incubators worldwide areestimates
and are provisional. As of October 2006, there were nearly 7000 incubatorsof various types in
the world.1 Out of these, approximately 1400 were in North America (1115 in United States, 191
in Mexico and 120 in Canada), 1000 in Europe(including 370 in Germany), 400 in China, 355 in
Korea, 265 in Japan, and 220 inUK. The remaining are in other parts of the world. India has
around 120 incubatorsincluding 40 Science and Technology Entrepreneurs‘ Parks (STEP).
Business incubators originated in the United States of America and the first incubatorcame into
being in an abandoned Massey Ferguson manufacturing plant in Batavia in1959. A number of
initiatives were undertaken between 1985 and 1995 to strengthenthe incubation movement and as
a result, it evolved into an ecosystem with a plethoraof models ranging from public to private
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Business incubation took a growing role in Canada‘s economic development. Duringthe year
2005, there were more than 83 operating business incubators generatingfunds in excess of $45
million. Within them, 900 client businesses raised revenuesover $93 million and created full and
part-time employment for more than 13,000people.China also has a well-developed incubation
market space, with the governmentplaying a predominant role to accord with its mandate of high
technology ledeconomic growth. Although the creation of small businesses through the
incubationmodel started only in late 1980s, it has been able to develop about 400 variants in
ashort span. These incubators have helped bridge the gap between research and the marketplace,
fostered entrepreneurial attitudes, and facilitated the re-entry of scholarsabroad. Between 2002
and 2006, the number of client firms increased from 20993 to7141434, and their real value added
increased from 41 billion to 133 billion Yuan (at the2000 price).
National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) estimated that in 2005 alone, NorthAmerican
incubators assisted more than 27,000 start-up companies that provided fulltimeemployment to
over 100,000 workers and generated annual revenue of $17billion. Another study in the mid-
1990s found that 87 per cent of all firms that hadgraduated from NBIA member incubation
programs were still in business and about84 per cent of them remained in the incubator‘s
community.5 A 2008 study conductedby consulting firm Grant Thornton for the US Department
of Commerce EconomicDevelopment Administration found that business incubators produced
new jobs at lowcost to the government.
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Over the last 12 years, United Kingdom Business Incubation (UKBI) 7has measured the impact
of incubators on local economy and workforce. The research proved thatan incubator's client
firms provided an average of 167 jobs (full time equivalents) perincubator and were home to
roughly 30 entrepreneurial companies at any one time.About 60 per cent of them also operated
"outreach" services and were able to support150 additional ventures. Most importantly,
businesses had an average success rate of98 per cent when they were located in the incubator as
compared to a national averageof less than 30 per cent and around 87 per cent of them survived
beyond five years.Thus, business incubation centers have not only grown in numbers and
geographicspread, but also in terms of its impact on promoting entrepreneurship, job creation
andeconomic development across the world.
Figure 4:NUMBER OF BUSINESS INCUBATORS WORLDWIDE.
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LIST OF INCUBATION CENTERS IN INDIA
NS Raghavan Center for Entrepreneurship and Learning (NSRCEL), IIM Bangalore
Center for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship IIM Ahmedabad
Entrepreneurship Cell IIT Kharagpur
Center for Entrepreneurship SP Jain, Mumbai
C-TIDES IIT Chennai
TeNeT IIT Chennai
Society for Innovation & Entrepreneurship IIT Mumbai
Nirma LabsSIDBI Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center IIT Kanpur
Entrepreneurship Development Center IIT Guwahati
Foundation for Technology and Innovation Transfer (FITT) IIT Delhi
Abhiyan IIM Lucknow
E-Cell IIM Kozikode
Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship IIM Kolkata
Entrepreneurship Development Institute Ahmedabad
ICFAI Center for Entrepreneurship Development Hyderabad
MICA Entrepreneurship Development Center Ahmedabad
Wadhwani Center for Entrepreneurship Development ISB Hyderabad
TIME-IS DST, Government of India
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JSS Academy Science & Technology Entrepreneur Park Noida
National Institute of Industrial Engineering Mumbai
Entrepreneurship Center IIT Rorkee
Ekta Incubation Center West Bengal University of Technology
E-Cell NIT Trichy
VIT Technology Incubator Vellore
Technopark Technology Business Incubator (T-TBI) Trivandrum
Center for Bio-Technology Anna University Chennai
National Design Business Incubator Ahmedabad
International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics Hyderabad
Kongu Engineering College NEN e-Cell Erode
Advanced Materials Technology Incubator Hyderabad
Center for Entrepreneurship SPJMIR Mumbai
North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Guwahati
NSIC Technical Services CenterBirla Institute of Technology Mesra
STEP, BEC Bagalkot
Maulana Azad NIT Bhopal
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Science and Technology Park, University of Pune
Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Park Ludhiana
STEP – Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology Patiala
STEP – PSG College of Engineering
IncuCapital TechnoPark Trivandrum
ICICI Knowledge Park Incubation Center Hyderabad
Gujarat GrassRoots Innocations Augmentation Network Ahmedabad
CIE IIIT Hyderabad
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SEEDFUND is India‘s leading early-stage venture capital fund, with operations in Bombay,
Bangalore and New Delhi. Seedfund was founded in 2006 by Bharati Jacob, Mahesh Murthy and
Pravin Gandhi and the team has grown to include Paula Mariwala, Sanjay Anandaram, Sarabjeet
Singh, Shailesh Vickram Singh and Tarana Lalwani. All Seedfund team members have been
entrepreneurs at some point or the other in their careers.
Seedfund investees include AFAQS, CarWale, EduSports, Fetise, Frontier Markets, Healthizen,
Heckyl, Ixsight, Jeevanti Healthcare, Level10 Comics, Lifeblob, MyDentist, Nevales Networks,
Printo, RedBus, RupeeTalk, Sportskeeda, ThinkLabs, Uhuroo and Vaatsalya.
Some Recent Investments:
Company Date Round Size Participants
MyDentist 2013 Venture Round $10M 2
Jeeves 6/12 Angel NA 1
LurnQ 6/12 Seed NA 1
Innoz 4/12 Series A NA 1
Heckyl 1/12 Angel $1M 1
Fetise.com 12/11 Series A $5M 1
Lifeblob 8/08 Seed $1M 1
TABLE 1: RECENT INVESTMENT
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Bharati Jacob is the Founder- Partner of Seedfund based in
Bangalore. She brings over 24 years of diverse and rich experience in
venture investing, marketing and financial services. She has been in
venture investing since 2000 across 3 funds. She began her investing
career with Infinity Venture Fund in 2000 as part of the startup team.
Prior to Infinity, she was head of the investment bank Lazard in South
India and established Lazard offices in Chennai and Bangalore. Her
responsibilities included operations and business development with P&L responsibility for both
offices.Bharati holds graduate degrees from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania as
well as XLRI and the University of Delhi. After graduating from Wharton, she worked at
Northwest Airlines as part of a strategic FP&A group that supported the Executive Management
Board of the airline on key strategic and operational initiatives.
Mahesh Murthy is a founding partner at Seedfund, and has over
26 years of marketing and communications experience, of which
15 years are in online marketing. After dropping out of college,
Mahesh sold vacuum cleaners from door to door, worked with
Grey in India and Ogilvy in Hong Kong, where he won notoriety
and awards as a creative director on HP, The Economist, Pepsi
and MTV – for whom he wrote and directed a spot voted ―Asia‘s
best commercial of the decade‖.He then moved to a Silicon
Valley firm, CKS Partners (later, USWeb/CKS) as Creative
Director, GM and Partner – where he helped launch the first
commercial version of Yahoo in 1995 and the Earth‘s Biggest Bookstore campaign for
Amazon.com in 1997. While running search marketing campaigns for his favourite charity in
2003, Mahesh believed there was a need for a pay-for-performance digital brand management
firm – and set up Pinstorm in Bombay. With over 120 people across 6 offices in India,
Singapore, Malaysia, Europe and the US, Pinstorm is today among the world‘s leading digital
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Part of the founding team of Seedfund, Paula Mariwala is the
Executive Director at Seedfund. She has over 20 years of
experience with technology companies in USA and India. In her
role as the Executive Director since inception of Seedfund in
2006, Paula has worked extensively with the entrepreneurial
ecosystem in India to source, evaluate and mentor start-up
companies for Seedfund. She works closely with Portfolio
companies to take them to their next stage of growth and has
led investments in education, healthcare and mobile technology. Coming from a strong business
background and a technocrat by profession, Paula has worked with companies like Photon
Kinetics, Tektronix and Optivideo in USA and is Promoter and Director of The Hinditron Group
of companies, one of India‘s oldest technology company, where she has been responsible for
managing the Telecommunication business of the Group and for driving new business initiatives.
She is also an active angel investor, and has mentored and invested in several innovative
companies across sectors.
Pravin Gandhi has over 35 years of operational and entrepreneurial
experience in the IT industry in India, and is a founding partner at
Seedfund. With over 10 years of investing experience, he is
extensively networked in the Indian investment and entrepreneurial
scene and is an active private equity investor in the technology
sector. In 1972 he co-founded Hinditron Computers, India‘s first IT
Company, which subsequently merged with Digital Equipment
Corporation in 1988. He is on the board of Avendus, Kale &
Microland as an independent. Pravin holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Cornell
University, and serves on the board of several public and private corporations in India. Pravin is
a former President of the Manufacturers Association of Information Technology (an IT
manufacturers association in India) and was formerly a member of the NASSCOM Executive
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Sanjay Anandaram is a Venture Partner with Seed Fund. He
has spent over 2 decades as an IT industry executive, an
entrepreneur, a VC, an advisor to early stage funds, startup
mentor and teacher. He‘s a founding partner of JumpStartUp,
an early stage VC fund set up to invest in technology and
technology enabled businesses that leveraged India. He
brings significant international experience involving new
business creation and business development in India, US,
Asia, Middle-East and Africa.Prior to founding JumpStartUp, Sanjay founded Neta Inc., a
venture capital backed Silicon Valley software startup that was acquired by Infoseek (Disney).
He‘s involved with TiE Bangalore (as Charter Member and co-chair of the TiE Entrepreneur
Acceleration Programme), Nasscom (as part of the Product and Innovation group), with IIM
Bangalore (as member of the NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning), with INSEAD,
Dept of Science and Technology, Govt of India. Sanjay is an Electrical Engineer from Jadavpur
University, Kolkata with an MBA degree from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
Sarabjeet Singh works as an Investment Analyst with Seedfund
and volunteers with the Startup Leadership Program in
Bangalore. Before Seedfund, Sarabjeet ran a leading student
news portal, Letmeknow.in, and worked with Samhita Social
Ventures, a Nadathur Group supported social venture. At
Letmeknow, Sarabjeet grew traffic and users and built revenue
streams for the company. At Samhita, Sarabjeet co-
conceptualized Samhita.org, a portal for connecting Indian non-
profits with donors and supporters from around the world. He joined Samhita during its inception
and helped build the founding team. Sarabjeet has a Bachelors and Master‘s degree in
Mathematics and Computing from IIT Kharagpur. During college, he founded the local chapter
of AIESEC, an international youth organization, and worked on summer research projects at
MIT and University of Stuttgart.
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Shailesh Vickram Singh has over 15 years of experience
in investing in private equity / venture capital investing,
and in business operations and entrepreneurship.Shailesh
brings a strong entrepreneurial and operations perspective
to investments having co-founded one startup in
community space in early 2000 from where the team
made a successful exit in 2003 and helped create another
startup in agricultural commodities spaces which was
acquired by a media conglomerate in 2005.He has worked with 2i Capital ( A mid-market
Private Equity Growth Fund), Unit Trust of India ( the largest investment manager in India) and
Gujarat Venture Finance Limited ( investors include CDC and World Bank) and was involved
with investments in logistics, technology, telecommunications, media, and internet companies.
Prior to his MBA, Shailesh had worked for four years in manufacturing (Heavy Engineering and
Machining) with Tata Motors and ATV.
Tarana Lalwani has fourteen years of experience in finance,
corporate advisory and business development. She started her
career in New York with Morgan Stanley, followed by
Radian, a financial services firm in their structured finance
group. Tarana moved to India in 2006 to manage the fund
raising efforts of Webaroo (SMS Gupshup), a mobile internet
startup incubated at IIT Mumbai. Tarana worked as a senior
adviser with Sky Advance, a boutique private equity firm in
Mumbai. Prior to joining Seedfund as a Principal, Tarana was Vice President, Investment
Banking at Anand Rathi, a boutique financial services firm in Mumbai.Tarana was, until recently
active with Mumbai Angels, a forum of high net worth early-stage investors, where she was
involved in screening and closing transactions giving her an understanding of early stage
investments. She holds an undergraduate degree in accounting from LaSalle University, and an
MBA from Columbia Business School.
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Seedfund started with the team- People that had hands-on experience with raw startups in India.
Pravin Gandhi and Bharati Jacob came from Infinity Venture, the fund behind Indiabulls,
Indiagames and the like. Mahesh Murthy came from Passionfund, where he backed Geodesic,
Pinstorm and other successes.
Then the fund size - From their experience, they figured the right amount of funding for an
Indian startup was not in the millions or in tens of millions of dollars range. It was closer to
about $500,000. They also figured that they could work closely with about 15 or 20 companies
over the next 5 years and hence arrived at a fund size of about $15 million. They can therefore
invest from Rs.1 to 5 crores in a startup company.
Next, the target sectors - They decided to stick close to businesses they know and sectors that can
make a big difference, not just in the global market but in the large Indian market too. So they
are looking mostly at internet or media or mobile or telecom or retail or consumer-facing plays
and also for things that are not yet any sectors.
On to the investors - In this market, money is cheap but the right money makes the difference.
They wanted limited partners that could add significant strategic value to their startups and they
have been lucky enough to end up with a dream team here too: institutions like Motorola
Ventures, Reliance ADA Group, SVB Financial Group, an affiliate of Silicon Valley Bank,
Sierra Ventures, Mayfield Fund, Edelweiss Capital and individuals like Kanwal Rekhi, KB
Chandrashekhar, B V Jagadeesh and Sridar Iyengar.
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THE PRIMARY IDEA BEHIND INCUBATORS
An incubator is about creating an atmosphere, which is conducive to innovation and sharing
knowledge. This, in turn, helps in validating ideas and inspiring performance. To provide such an
atmosphere, the three crucial prerequisites are infrastructure, top-quality mentors and high-
calibre teams. The current incubators are lacking on the first two counts. Lastly, an incubator
should provide money to cover running expenses.At the Seedfund incubator, they look for
products that haven't been developed, or are yet to be launched, or need to be redesigned. Both
the idea and business model can be changed under the guidance of a set of mentors, who know
what consumers and investors want. An example of successful incubation is MyDentist, a chain
of dental clinics. The revenue of the start-up has shot up four times since it was incubated and is
the largest dental chain in Mumbai.It usually takes 12-24 months for a product to be developed,
tested and polished, but sometimes, the time frame is extended. Taking into account the space,
infrastructure and so on, a four-six member team can cost a few lakh of rupees per month.
Seedfund Investor group invests in these industries-
Internet and Online
Healthcare and Life science
Transportation and Logistics
Media and Entertainment
Retailing and Distributions
Food and Beverage
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3.2 INCUBATEE COMPANY – MYDENTIST
CATEGOERY: Health care industry
BRANCHES: Mumbai, Pune…
Figure 6: MyDentist co-founders: Parth & Vikram Vora
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MyDentist is a chain of dental clinics incorporated by Vikram Vora in 2009 and incubated by
Seedfund in 2010.Their first clinic was established in Vile Parle, but they now have 50 branches
- Malad, Kandivali, Borivali, Andheri, Bandra, Fort, Ghatkopar, Goregaon, Juhu, Mahim,
Mazagaon, Mulund, Prabhadevi, Powai, Santacruz, Sion, Vile Parle, Pune...
Their services encompass all aspects of cosmetic and restorative dentistry with the overall aim of
oral wellbeing. They utilize the latest in dental technology and expertise to ensure that patients
receive the highest possible standards of dental care available today. MyDentist provides all
forms of general dentistry, oral surgery, fixed and removable prosthetics, implants, orthodontic
care, cosmetic procedures and emergency care.Incubated by Seedfund in 2010, MyDentist
received its initial investment of $2,00,000 which was followed by Series A round of funding in
2011. The dental chain was founded in 2009 by Vikram Vora and has a website with all its
services including prices per service. MyDentist is a operative brand of Total Dental Care Pvt.
Ltd. The website works with a slogan ‗Smile more, pay less‘.MyDentist, a dental hospital chain
which has its operations in Mumbai and Pune closed with a $10 Million(INR50Cr. Approx.)in its
Series B round of funding from Seedfund Advisors and Asian Healthcare Fund to expand its
current network of hospitals. Till the end of 2012, it was having 29 branches in Mumbai and till
date it covers the area of Mumbai with its 46 branches and 2 in pune and many more coming up.
MyDentist offers a standard rate for its services which is generally not practiced in India. The
company caters its range of services from bleeding gums to full mouth rehabilitation to the
middle class sector. Currently, it has over 250 professional dentists on its rolls who are employed
on monthly pay instead of the commonly practiced profit sharing model. These dentists work in
shifts of four hours each day. In the coming months, the company looks forward to have over
150 clinics operating between Mumbai and Pune. This dental chain of hospitals have been
funded enough for its expansion up to 50 clinics and with its Series B round of funding, the
company looks forward to expand its chain and have over 150 operating clinics. In 2010 Asian
Healthcare Fund was founded by Dabur Group chairman Anand Burman and former Dabur
Pharma CEO Ajay Kumar Vij. It started with a mandate of making investments between $5 Mn
and $20 Mn in healthcare ventures such as diagnostics, clinics, pathology labs, pharmaceutical
and medical devices manufacturers.
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Private equity investments in the Indian healthcare space crossed $520.36 Mn in 2012 compared
to $137.4 Mn in 2011. This jump is at a time when PE investments across all sectors plunged by
a substantial 17.5% to $3.26 Bn from $3.95 Bn.A report by Frost and Sullivan stated that dental
service market was worth $739 Mn in 2010 and is expected to reach $1.3 Bn by 2015 at a
compounded annual growth rate of 12%.A production engineer armed with a masters in
management studies (MMS) in marketing from Mumbai University, Vikram Vora co-founded
Total Dental Care Pvt Ltd (TDC) with his brother Parth vora.
In 2009, when Vikram Vora visited dental clinics in the suburbs of Mumbai, to sell dental
equipment, the time he spent in the waiting room made him realise that the patients who visited
there were most bothered by the long waiting hours, the inaccuracy of information shared about
the procedures and the lack of transparency in the cost of treatments. Eventually, these factors
became the crux of starting Total Dental Care Pvt. Limited, the company that operates a chain of
multi-speciality dental clinics under the brand MyDentist.Vora founded MyDentist in 2009, in a
move to provide affordable, flexible and transparent dental care treatment to patients. Today, the
company has 50 clinics in Mumbai and Pune and caters to nearly 10,000 customers per month, of
which 70 per cent are through referrals. According to Mr. Vikram vora, ―The initial investment
took care of building the back-end such as the initial team, real estate, technology and training
modules to support the hub and spoke model that MyDentist use. The second round of funding
will help support scale and ensure continuity‖. The healthcare retail chain is now growing at a
pace of five clinics a month and aims to expand to 150 clinics by the end of 2014. The company
invests Rs.30 to 45 lakh per clinic.
The company offers membership cards, preventive plans and oral care merchandise to its
patients, its primary revenue comes from the clinical treatments it provides. The cost of
treatment varies from Rs.300 to Rs.90,000 and the X-ray and consultation, for any number of
visits, is free of cost. Interestingly, for treatments that cost Rs.500 and above, the company offers
EMI facilities, in partnership with leading banks such as HDFC, ICICI, Axis and HSBC, to name
a few. Mr. Vora says, ―Primarily, the EMI facility makes treatments like root canals and
orthodontics available even to the lower-middle class, who otherwise cannot even think of
paying for such expensive surgeries‖.
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Today, MyDentist‘s network comprises 400 professionals, including more than 250 doctors. The
departments in the company include logistics, marketing, human resources and skill training.A
300 square foot MyDentist clinic calls for an overall investment of Rs.35 lakh of which majority
(Rs. 20 lakh) goes into buying imported equipment (from vendors in India). Two doctors work
three shifts in the day. On an average the MyDentist chain gets close to 8,000 patients every
month and the number is set to reach 10,000 patients per month by June end. It is presumed that
each centre will take 18-20 months to breakeven. The nature of treatments sought by most
patients are pretty much the same -- root canal, scaling, polishing, crowns and bridges and other
common treatments -- as any other standalone dental clinic would provide. The clinic has started
offering orthodontics services and has tied-up with financial institutions to offer and EMI
scheme as orthodontics tend to be expensive.
According to Mr. Vora, revenues have increased over three times when compared with the peak
revenue figures of the pre-incubation stage. The ownership of TDC is now equally shared
between the promoters and the two investors.Pravin Gandhi, Founding Partner, Seedfund
Advisors, commented that, ―Our second round of funding to MyDentist reiterates are belief in
the idea and the also the potential of the team behind it. In the last two years, MyDentist has
developed its systems and processes and have also managed to build an understanding of the
customer behavior we see a high potential of growth in the company and are happy to be a part
of their growth path.‖With 50 clinics so far, MyDentist is the largest dental chain in India and the
third largest in Asia. At the rate which they are growing, they are trying to reach 110 clinics by
end of this year and 250 clinics by end of next financial year.
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4. PROCESS DESIGNING OF BUSINESS INCUBATION
From the current literature, it is evident (see section 2 above) that the number of Business
incubators are growing rapidly. Today the number of incubators worldwide is approximately
7,000, where in the beginning of 1980, the number was 200. The Business incubation program
become more popular amongst entrepreneurs and the strategic benefits such as:
First, the business incubation program must have clear Mission to provide business advisory to
Second, business Incubation program should have resources to deliver and coordinates with the
Finally, business incubation program establish to lead the startup Company to self-sustainability.
The process of designing and implementing business incubation programs really consists of nine
stages. In addition, for the benefits of maximum survival of the incubation program required the
steps be in order.
Step 1: The Analysis of the community context to identify economic development Opportunities
and constraints. The Analyzing characteristics of community context can be defined in terms of
its boundaries, size, and composition, internal Linkages, external linkages and level of control
over local resources. With this information, planners can systematically explore the influence of
these Characteristics on the potential for economic development.
Step 2: Choose economic development goals and objectives for the community. For Example,
job creation involves not just the number but the type of new jobs that a community hopes to
Step 3: Select a business development strategy to help meet those goals and objectives. There
are four of these available to communities:
1) Business attraction,
2) Business retention,
3) Business expansion,
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4) Incubating new enterprises.
Furthermore, each approach has a different set of rules, resources and players.
Step 4: Select the appropriate business incubation program design. Incubation Program
managers must evaluate their clients' required resources and Obstacles in order to design a
package of practices. If the goal is a more diversified economy, the incubation program can
focus on start-up enterprises that will introduce new products and services to the community.
Step 5: Evaluate the economic feasibility of the program design the availability of clear data
about the economic conditions that are necessary to make the program viable and the probability
that those conditions will be met.
Step 6: Specify the set of incubation practices to be used. There are too many program planners
make the mistake of selecting practices with little idea of the resources their targeted clients
require, or the obstacles that stand in their way.
Step 7: Implement the selected practices. Incubation practitioner can refer to these descriptions
for the specific actions they should take to implement the practices they have selected.
Step 8: Evaluate the program's performance. The Evaluation of incubation program‘s
performance focus on the three elements of the overall situation;
1) Input: the community context and program client needs that were Identified,
2) Process: the effectiveness of the practices that were Implemented, which should be
jointly assessed by program manager and Client, and
3) Outcome: changes in individual firms' access to require resources and in their overall
business viability, along with how much those changes contributed to the community's
Step 9: Use the evaluation results to redesign the incubation program and practices. An
incubation program cannot evolve unless those who run it learn both from their mistakes and
their successes, and a program that does not evolve will ultimately fail.
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The diagram below provides an overview of a typical business incubation process:
Figure 7: BUSINESS INCUBATION PROCESS
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4.1 The three stages of business incubation development:
1) Business incubation provided within physical facility
2) Business incubation as business support service
3) Business incubation viewed from networks‘ perspective
4.2 Key characteristics are summarized in the table below:
First generation Second generation Third generation
Name of the period
economies of scale
access to external
resources, knowledge and
Office space and
Coaching and training
Access to technological,
Economies of scale Accelerating the
Access to external
1950s – 1980s Mid 1980s – mid 1990s Mid 1990s – 2000s
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5. FORMATION OF A BUSINESS INCUBATOR
5.1 PRELIMINARY WORK
1. The feasibility study
Conducting a feasibility study for a proposed incubator can achieve a number of important
objectives and, if properly done, can provide a solid basis for judging the economic and political
viability of the proposed project. The feasibility study represents the first in a series of early
development phases that, for planning purposes, can be described as follows:
Feasibility: 3 months
Development: 9 months
Renovation: 3-12 months
Early-stage operations (up to anticipated break-even point): 18 months
Reasons why conducting a feasibility study is needed:
Helps to forge a consensus among key organizations and civic leaders
Catalyzes the involvement of organizations that can provide the incubator with a range of
resources including facilities, funding, equipment, and human resources
Allows for the completion of plans for both the facilities and the services to be provided
Helps secure funding from government sources at all levels
Educates public and private sector constituencies about business incubation in order to
avoid confusion and unwarranted expectations
Provides an occasion to contact successful incubator programs in similar communities to
learn their best practice lessons
A feasibility study should also reveal examples of critical errors made with respect to other
incubator programs. Such errors might involve facility and site selection, structure of the
governing board, funding arrangements, income assumptions, or the nature of the business
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A thorough feasibility study will help avoid the two classic errors of incubator formation:
accepting the worst building in town and thinking that the management assistance program will
somehow take care of itself. While recommending the use of a consultant, selecting a consultant
without direct incubator experience can result in a study that provides general analysis, but lacks
concrete recommendations. Specific recommendations can make the difference in an incubator‘s
long-term success. An adequate feasibility study will answer essential questions about how to
proceed in a systematic fashion and how to secure funding during all the phases of incubator
development. Indeed, a thorough study by a qualified consultant can and should provide the
information necessary to determine whether the project should be pursued.
2. Building support
A core group committed to starting a business incubator must recognize that its efforts cannot be
pursued in a vacuum. The dream of a few must become the dream of many. An incubator
represents an important community investment, both practically and symbolically, and requires
broad-based community support to be feasible. In forging the Incubator, meetings with
community leaders can achieve several objectives. Community meetings allow proponents of the
Provide information on the business incubation industry
Invite reaction to the prospects for a local business incubator
Solicit referrals to people, companies, organizations, and facilities that can assist the
process of feasibility and/or development
Offer the opportunity of direct participation, to seek specific leads to entrepreneur
prospects, and/or gather information that had been overlooked
Engaging in this process should clarify the prospects for starting an incubator. The process
should help to identify potential sites, funding sources, project champions from key
organizations, and sources of assistance and support, both individual and organizational. The
process may, however, also uncover serious impediments to realizing the project. Project
supporters make serious efforts to placate opponents; indeed, project supporters should not
assume that the project will be successful in the face of persistent opposition. Real estate
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developers, for example, may resist the project because they believe an incubator will cut into
their market. A persuasive argument, in this case, is that the incubator will only incubate
companies for a limited period of time and that the incubator should serve to increase both the
quantity and quality of companies seeking to rent space. Community consensus building should
help locate organizations that will identify with the successes and failures of the proposed
incubator. These organizations are known as stakeholders.
3. Identifying and securing stakeholders
A stakeholder is any group or individual who can affect or is affected by achievement of an
organization‘s objectives. While each incubator‘s circumstances are unique, anticipated
stakeholders would likely include local and state governments and a variety of public and private
sector organizations (universities, major corporations) interested in fostering new-business
development in the region. Stakeholders might also include economic development organizations
that could fund the rehabilitation of a facility and/or the operation of the incubator program. The
support of these stakeholders is critical to initiating an incubator program. At the same time,
potential supporters of the incubator effort understandably have varied motivations and
expectations. Their level of understanding of the purposes and methods of business incubation
will vary greatly.
Stakeholders need to be identified and then cultivated. The first step is to secure commitment
from potential stakeholders who have the strongest interest and who are most likely to provide
financial support for the endeavor. Once stake-holders have committed to the project, the
organizational structure needs to be formalized. A governing body, typically a board of directors,
provides the organizational vehicle for maintaining, building, and strengthening commitment to
the incubator program.
One of the board‘s tasks is getting interested parties to agree to a clear articulation of the mission
and goals of the incubator. This articulation of the incubator‘s goals brings the stakeholders
together with a common purpose. Experience has shown that incubators that fail to achieve
consensus on mission and goals invite trouble from their board, since members will create their
own tacit mission statement and begin to act accordingly.
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Incubator managers should seek to expand the number of valid stakeholders. New stake-holders
should be welcomed as long as they have something tangible to contribute. On the other hand,
allowing tenants to serve on the board can create conflicts of interest, so tenant participation on
the board should be evaluated on a cost-benefit basis. Additionally, incubator managers must
remain sensitive to external conditions, which may strengthen or weaken the commitment of
stakeholders to the incubation enterprise. Finally, by-laws are crucial. They provide an objective
means of removing no participatory board members and, at the other extreme, board members
who are exerting undue influence.
4. Identifying a market niche
A business incubator will operate in a particular locale with its own rich history, so it must act
with an eye to the regional economy and institutions. To become an accepted part of this
complex social fabric, an incubator must establish its distinctiveness and unique purpose. From a
business perspective, the incubator needs to identify its market niche. Successful businesses
carefully attend to the work of defining the market position of their products and services relative
to their competitors, as well as to modifying their market position in response to changing
Developing a market niche for a business incubator requires similar attention to these tasks. An
incubator‘s competitors come from the spheres of real estate and economic development. Within
the real estate market, the incubator must distinguish itself from other multiple-tenant properties.
For a technology-related incubator, the distinction may be readily apparent, for example, in that
incubator facilities may offer wet and dry lab space. Incubators also differ from conventional real
estate agents in that they often offer short-term leases and flex-space for a company‘s expansion.
Certainly, rent subsidization can be attractive to cash-poor start-ups. The availability of shared
support services is another appealing feature of incubator facilities, although provision of such
services by for-profit organizations has become a growth industry.
Economic development programs for small businesses proliferated in the 1980s. These
programs have been referred to as ―incubators without walls.‖ Well-managed incubators often
distinguish themselves by serving as a focal point for access to the broad spectrum of available
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business services. Incubator managers thus provide the point of contact for entry into various
programs. Many efforts to assist small business are, by contrast, programmatic in nature and
limited by the scope of their intent. A well-positioned incubator, on the other hand, will help its
tenants access the range of existing programs and, in addition, provide access to informal
networks for business and financial advice and assistance. For example, a retired executive may
agree to help out a struggling firm or a business angel may appear, discretely looking for new
The incubator program may also delimit itself and define its market by the type of company
or client served. While high-tech incubators may limit their scope of service to technology-
focused companies, some incubators may be even more targeted (for example, restricting their
services to biotech companies). The customer for the incubator should be determined during the
feasibility phase, during which new-business registrations, by industry type, are classified and
certain industry sectors identified for their spinout potential.Whatever the mix of services offered
and the assessment of the market to be served, the incubator must somehow package its product
to effectively position itself.
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5.2 THE FORMATION PROCESS
The basic structure of an incubator facility is determined by owner attributes and regional
demographics. The following owner/sponsor classifications can generally be applied:
A typical organizational format includes executive and advisory boards, a CEO or operations
manager, and support staff. Selections for board positions and other representative forums may
come from the following: private enterprise, educational institutions, government, organized
labor, development and investment community, and private citizens.
The role of the manager or chief executive officer of the incubator is both internal and external.
This person is chiefly responsible for:
Incubator policy and planning
Marketing and recruitment
Tenant selection and lease negotiation
Facility operations management
Tenant service and administration
The manager has multiple constituent groups representing both the sponsoring (funding)
segments and the user (spinout) population. Appropriately selecting advisory board members
allows the manager to establish and maintain networks for the dissemination of information and
policy to these disparate groups. Table 1 provides typical staffing levels for incubators.
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TABLE: TYPICAL INCUBATOR STAFFING
Median number of administrative staff 1.60 1.90 3.50
Median number of business consulting staff 1.40 2.10 2.10
Ratio of business consultants to firms 0.13 0.12 0.12
Managers with previous business experience 70% 67% 92%
Managers with business consulting duties 73% 67% 93%
Source: National Council for Urban Economic Development5
An important function is marketing the incubator, which will be driven, in part, by the results of
the market analysis conducted during the feasibility study. The market analysis should consider
the following major aspects of the local economy:
Characteristics of large corporations in the area
Level of entrepreneurial activity in the community
Demand for incubator-type space
Small-business support services by industry type, if feasible.
Large corporations can supply an important market for new businesses and are also the chief
sources of spinout companies in a region. The number, type, and rate of filing of new-business
permits can provide important indicators of potential demand for incubator space. An inventory
of available space broken down by type (office, manufacturing, and so on) is essential for
determining potential demand.
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Market information can also be secured by offering a workshop or seminar that highlights some
of the proposed business-service components of the incubator (for example, a workshop on
developing an effective business plan or one on the accounting needs of small businesses).
This information can provide the basis for a market strategy that is integrated into the overall
Proactively gathering market information is recommended over a reactive mode, which does not
typically serve to effectively market the incubator. A reactive approach is tempting when an
incubator manager is stretched thin with other responsibilities. However, a written marketing
strategy allows other parties (board of directors, advisory board, related organizations) to assist.
The most successful sales organizations have a standard sales script or routine with which
everyone involved is familiar.
The marketing effort should include typical means of communication, including brochures,
newsletters, and press releases about new tenants, tenant successes, and graduations. One of the
incubator‘s sponsoring organizations may be able to help develop these promotional materials. In
addition, the incubator story may be included in the communications of sponsoring
organizations. Other organizations may also be interested in cosponsoring seminars of interest to
Such marketing efforts are necessary but not sufficient. Studies have shown that most
entrepreneurs learn about the incubator through word of mouth. To market the incubator
effectively, it is incumbent on the incubator manager to continue to develop and maintain a
network of contacts in real estate, banking, patent law, business and economic development, both
formally, through boards of directors and advisors, and informally, through professional
organizations and business contacts. Individuals in an incubator‘s local community are often the
first to alert a nascent entrepreneur of the benefits of locating in a small-business incubator.
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As the incubator concept has evolved, the range of services offered by incubators has greatly
expanded. Early incubators provided access to a photocopier and a conference room, clerical
support, and perhaps switchboard services. Today, incubators themselves provide, or provide
access to, a broad spectrum of office, business consulting, and professional services. The most
common in-house and outside services offered are given in Table 2.
TABLE 2: TYPICAL INCUBATOR STAFFING
IN-HOUSE (PERCENT OF
OUTSIDE (PERCENT OF
Office services 81 2
Business/strategic planning 65 32
External debt financing 59 7
Government grant/loan assistance 58 28
Training/educational programs 52 29
Financial management 51 36
Sales/marketing 51 37
External equity financing 47 27
Employment assistance 31 41
Lab equipment access 29 24
Bookkeeping 23 30
Government procurement 19 52
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IN-HOUSE (PERCENT OF
OUTSIDE (PERCENT OF
R&D/product development 19 43
International trade 14 52
Accounting or tax assistance 8 59
Legal/patent services 6 67
In recent years, incubators have greatly expanded the variety of office services they provide. For
example, the menu of office services offered by an incubator based in Pennsylvania in operation
for three years includes:
Overnight courier service
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Auto service discounts
Sports ticket purchasing
Business consulting services may include business plan preparation, financial planning,
advertising and marketing, strategic planning, technical and commercial communications,
relocation planning, capital development (equity and debt services), business taxes, employee
relations, R&D, and government procurement.
Professional services include legal/patent services, accounting, business development
(including sales/marketing), and technical/scientific support, among others. Professional services
may be provided at special discounts to incubator tenants. Some incubators arrange for new
tenants to initially receive some professional services at no cost or at a deep discount. Given that
entrepreneurs have no time to spare, professional service providers are often regularly available
at an incubator and make themselves available for support and consultation.
In developing the spectrum of services for a new incubator, several options need to be
explored. First, there is the essential question of which services will be offered. Next, incubator
managers must consider which of these services will be offered in-house. This will depend on
internal resources and the external availability of business services. The availability of qualified
outside sources will depend on the success of forging informal alliances with a range of service
providers in the public and private sectors. For those services offered in-house, the question of
cost recovery will need to be addressed. Several services are typically included as a standard
feature in a tenant‘s rental agreement. These most commonly include janitorial service,
management assistance, utilities, shared office services, and financing assistance. Other services,
such as clerical assistance, are charged back to the company on an at-cost or cost-plus basis. The
quality, range, dependability, and accessibility of these services are the value-added features that
will provide the strongest lure for attracting entrepreneurs to an incubator. The incubator should
solicit feedback from tenants to ascertain whether or not the services are effectively meeting their
needs and to determine whether additional services should be added.
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5.4 Strategic Planning
While the previous sections have addressed discrete issues related to incubator formation,
the need for strategic planning—and the integration of these various elements into a coherent,
multi-phased plan—should be apparent. Determinations about one aspect of the plan will affect
other aspects. A rather obvious example is the effect that the facility‘s net available square
footage will have on rental income. More subtle considerations might include expectations for
the facility‘s long-term self-sufficiency. Managers should consider whether self-sufficiency can
be achieved solely from rental income, through subsidies from sponsoring organizations, or
through grants.Strategic planning compels incubator management to confront tough issues. How
will the incubator continue to operate if revenue projections from rental income are not
achieved? How will major facility repairs (for example, a ruptured boiler) be paid for?
Addressing these worst-case scenarios through strategic planning can provide both a clear course
of action if things go as planned and, if they do not, the necessary contingency plans to navigate
what may be a difficult beginning.
Strategic planning usefully determines not only what should be done but when it should
be done. The initiation of a new phase of the incubator may or may not be made contingent upon
the successful completion of an earlier phase. Can the operation begin as an ―incubator without
walls,‖ providing business services before the facility is ready for occupancy? At what point in
the development process is the manager hired? The notion that timing is everything is certainly
true in strategic planning for an incubator spinout.
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Figure 8: BUSINESS INCUBATION PROGRAM SERVICES.
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6. BARRIERS IN INDIAN COUNTRY
Entrepreneurs and policy makers report significant barriers:
• Few banks and limited financial services
• Money does not circulate in / leaves the reservation
• Sovereign land cannot be used for loan collateral
• Investors do not see reservation opportunities
• Inconsistent regulations and rules for business
• Property rights and land use issues
• Short-termism due to changing politics
• Over-involvement by tribal council in business issues
• General education levels are low
• Few entrepreneurial examples: only 13% of Native American entrepreneurs had
entrepreneurparents, versus 75% in the general population (CFED, 2004)
• Workforce can be dominated by government or a single industry, limiting opportunities
• In a recent survey of tribal members on reservations, 80% called business training
• Tribal histories of exclusion, repression, economic exploitation, and government subsidies
• Limited experience with formal economy
• ―Crab pot‖ syndrome, pulling ―climbers‖ down
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Figure 9: Mr. Vikram Vora- CEO of MyDentist [Incuabtee Of Seedfund]
1. What inspired you to begin with MyDentist?
In 2009, Vikram Vora visited dental clinics in the suburbs of Mumbai to sell dental
equipment, the time he spent in the waiting room made him realize that the patients who
visited there were most bothered by the long waiting hours, the inaccuracy of information
shared about the procedures and the lack of transparency in the cost of treatments. These
became the crux of starting Total Dental Care Pvt. Limited, the company that operates a
chain of multi-specialty dental clinics under the brand MyDentist.
2. What inspired you to incubate MyDentist?
In order to accomplish right business model and generate funds to implement the business
idea, he had taken loans for the startup purpose and it was doing well but it was clear that it
could not scale up,as taking debt was not an option. In a meeting with his ex-boss, Anand
Lunia, who gave Mr. Vora the idea that if he could share equity capital, then he could raise
funds to expand nearly 100 clinics. Hence, Seedfund Advisors incubated MyDentist in 2010
and increased their investment by 2011.
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3. Was incubation helpful?
According to Mr. Vikram Vora incubation was helpful as it helped MyDentist to reach 5
clinics at the initial stage to 50 clinics currently.
4. Why did you selected Seedfund for incubation?
According to Mr. Vikram Vora, ―It‘s very good to get incubated rather than going in
directly for venture capital‖. Seedfund helped much MyDentist to build business model and
creating a brand in the corporate world.
5. What are the aims ofMyDentist?
To provide affordable, flexible and transparent dental care treatment to patients and make
sure a patient has 100% clarity on the cost of treatment he/she chooses to undergo.
6. What is the turnover of MyDentist?
The turnover was Rs.2.5 Cr by the end of FY2012.
7. How much capital is required to start one branch?
Approximately it requires Rs.30 Lakhs to per clinic.
8. How many number of patients does MyDentist treat on an average in a month?
The overall number is 10,000 patients per month. MyDentist treat on an average 20 patients
per clinic per day.
9. What is the uniqueness about MyDentist?
MyDentist enhances quality and speed delivery of service, extending reach and coverage,
improving efficient operations, adopting largest technologies and economies of scale. The
uniqueness of MyDentist is their quality service at reasonable rates and even one can pay
that in EMIs also.
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10. How much staff does MyDentist comprises of?
MyDentist network comprises of around 400 professionals, including more than 200 doctors
including the staff of other departments in the company like logistics, marketing, HR.
11. Whom do you consider as MyDentist‘s competitors?
V Dentristree, Narayana Hrudayalaya Dental Clinic, Alliance Dental Core, other Dental
Chains and private dental clinic.
12. What image of MyDentist do you want to portrait in the corporate world?
Vikram Vora aims to make MyDentist the largest dental clinic chain in Asia, excluding
china. He wants MyDentist to be known for its world-class treatment and affordable prices.
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Business incubation proves to be a boon to every small enterprises as it helps to manage the
finance, management, polices, working of the incubated organization.
Business Incubator is a program designed to assist businesses to become established and
profitable during their incubation period.
The two most important goals for incubation programs are job creation and fostering an
entrepreneurial climate in the community. Other key incubator goals are diversifying the local
economy, building or accelerating new industries/businesses.
Business incubation has changed the scenario of business world as well as the economy.
Incubators provides a useful range of services for a start-up company. Many incubators have
staff members who can help with business plan or access to experts and mentors who
volunteer their time to help.
Business incubators support the development of start-ups by providing them with advisory
and administrative support services
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Business world- India‘s young entrepreneur