The array of materials, resources and support systems designed to help you launch your start up can be dizzying. There is a near endless array of services that can be traded for equity--a new peer group, corporate development, office space, a branding agency, and the list goes on... But how do you know which incubator to sign up for and what is worth giving up equity for? Most resources and programs are ideal for someone working beyond the initial idea stage. What about the rest of us sitting at home with that nascent idea?
A new pattern of idea-to-launch support is emerging that doesn't require you to turn over equity, but rather offers support as a service at an introductory level. Usually started by companies that already offer services to the growing entrepreneur, these services are being repackaged as an alternative to incubators and are making it easier for anyone with a spark of an idea to turn it into a business.
Impact Hub is a globally recognized network of co working spaces who last month launched a new service called the Impact Bazaar in New York. Dedicating a whole floor of their office to this drop-in space, they bill it as a one stop shop for the start up entrepreneur. For a drop-in day rate of 10 dollars, social entrepreneurs get access to experts, lawyers, ongoing workshops, co-working space and a community of people that are physically working together to help realize their dream.
The company One Month, which was traditionally an e-learning platform specializing in technical learning, is offering a month-long 'launch your start up' program that includes video instruction, a capacity limited cohort of fellow entrepreneurs, a one year subscription to all of their classes, as well as a chance to pitch for 10k dollars no strings attached. The One Month start up is basically an e-course version of an incubator, sold for a fee without the equity stake.
Companies like Impact Hub and One Month are putting the resources you need to transform your idea into a viable start up into your hands without the heavy commitment demanded by more traditional incubators. It may just be enough to get your idea off the page and into the world --- the bar to entering the start up world has once again just been lowered.