There's no time like the present to launch your venture.
Overview of smartstart™
Our SmartStart tech incubator assists founder(s) in launching a new company. It helps the entrepreneur formalize the business framework necessary for the company to execute its path to market strategies. At the same time, the company must work to develop a minimal viable product.TechFW coaches work with founders to help facilitate the process of engaging early adopters, prototyping and test marketing the product/service idea.
+ Bi-weekly meetings with TechFW contracted coaches including but not limited to business models, strategy, financial forecasting, inventory and manufacturing systems, negotiations, public relations, marketing, and growth as a team
+ Introduction to potential mentors, advisors, and collaborators
+ Introductions to potential early adopters in the private sector
+ Business funding methods (SBIR Grants, SBDC, Cowtown Angels, ATAN)
+ Access to Hatch:
DigitalOcean's global startup program to help startups grow and build in the cloud.
+ Weekly Office Hours with professional services partners (attorneys, CPAs, etc.)
+ TechFW clients qualify for $10,000 credit with TMAC to work on their technologies.
+ Hubspot for Startups Partner Program: Up to 90% scholarship based on eligibility requirements
+ Collaborations with R&D and marketing partners
+ Skills training to engage potential stakeholders (i.e. pitch coaching for investors, early adopters, etc.)
+ Free use of TechFW facilities when available
+ Client can lease offices from TechFW
+ Utilizes the tools and principles adopted from the GrowthWheel, Business Model Canvas, and Lean Startup
+ AWS Activate Portfolio benefits:
Cloud credits: Experiment, build, and grow with up to $5,000 in free AWS Cloud credits for 2 years.
Business support: Receive 1 year of AWS Business Support (up to $1,500 ) for 24/7 access to technical support and architectural guidance from AWS Cloud support engineers as you build and test.
Technical training: Get hands-on practice with 80 free credits for self-paced labs. The labs provide real cloud environments to help you learn and build AWS Cloud skills.
Exclusive content & offers: Take advantage of discounts, free products, recommended content, and a library of AWS services and tools through a personalized AWS Activate console.
Founder must own, have licensed, or be working on some technology or process with a (high) barrier to entry.
Founder must agree to bi-weekly meetings.
Founder and TechFW must mutually agree that there is an alignment between the company’s needs and TechFW capabilities.
Founder must pay program fee of $1,000 per quarter ($4,000 per year).
Must sign the client engagement agreement which includes a mutual non-disclosure agreement.
My partners and I had been struggling on how to turn our clinically-sound idea into a business. TechFW's assistance and experience have been instrumental in helping us realize the business value inside our innovation.
Co-founder of Ampcare
+ Non-regulated industries is up to 18 months (self-paced)
+ Regulated industries dependent on industry norms
What is a tech incubator?
According to InBia, if you are a tech incubator, you typically charge monthly program fees or membership dues in exchange for office/desk space and access to program offerings. Incubators offer programs to member companies that typically include mentoring, education/training, and informal learning opportunities.
Incubators also host events to provide networking and learning opportunities for both member companies and the local community. Member companies are usually required to apply to ensure they meet the incubator’s criteria or mission (industry, stage of company, founder demographics, etc.).
Incubators usually have graduation policies that are typically based on achievement of agreed-upon milestones, growth metrics or time-based stipulations. Typically companies join incubators on a rolling basis (non-cohort), and are able to reside in the incubator for 1-3 years.
“How do I know which tech incubator is right for my startup?”
Think about location:
Typically, it is ideal to find an incubator close to where you live. If not, you may miss out on benefits such as co-working space and in-person networking opportunities.
Does it align with your needs:
Just like when you’re looking to buy a house, when looking for a startup incubator, you may not find one that checks all your boxes. So make a list of maybe the top 3 things you’re looking for in an incubator. This could be: industry-specific mentors, avenues to funding and lab access, as an example.
Consider the ease of entry:
As a rule of thumb, if a startup incubator lets everyone in, the quality of the program most likely is not high.
Check out its portfolio:
A glance at an incubator’s portfolio will quickly help you decide if you want to trust it with your business. Are the companies in its portfolio successful?
The people: If you’re going to dedicate time and money to an incubator, you want to be assured that the mentors and coaches have their own proven track records as entrepreneurs. What experience do they have that will help you run your company better? Additionally, do they have a good heart behind what they’re doing?