Business incubators differ from accelerators in that they are more appropriate for solo founders with unvalidated ideas. Incubators focus more heavily on formulating a business model and team over a longer period of time, typically 1 to 5 years depending on the nature of the idea. Incubators offer mechanisms to help a growing startup. They will help businesses save on rent via co-working space or office space and also offer mentor schemes and networking opportunities. Mentors are crucial in giving you advice and guidance, such as on the importance of protecting your intellectual property, and they will help founders develop and protect their business.
Birmingham is a major city in England’s West Midlands region, with multiple Industrial Revolution-era landmarks that speak to its 18th-century history as a manufacturing powerhouse. In 2019, Birmingham was voted the best city in the UK for small businesses according to research by Sum Up thanks to its relatively cheap rent and high levels of investment. Choosing a business incubator in Birmingham can be a great decision for your startup but there are a number of factors you need to consider before making a decision.
Finding the best incubator programme for your business will depend on the type of support you are looking for, the vertical of your business idea, if you have a team and potential investment or not. Incubators will sometimes offer serviced office space as well as networking opportunities with the other companies and investors.
There are a number of incubator programmes in Birmingham. Here are a selection of incubators:
Despite incubator programmes being a great place for startups and entrepreneurs, it is important to ensure you have sufficient legal protection to make sure your intellectual property is protected. Robust non-disclosure agreements and employment contracts can protect your startup idea and build it into a great business confidently.
A non-disclosure agreement (NDA), also known as a confidentiality agreement, is a contract between a party disclosing confidential information and the party receiving that information. The receiving party, who is also known as the recipient, agrees to protect the other party’s confidential information by keeping it secure, not using it for unauthorised purposes, and not disclosing it to third parties. NDAs are crucial whenever sensitive information is being shared, especially in an accelerator programme where other members might over hear information or see sensitive data. Members of an incubator programme often enter into an NDA to ensure that they do not use other members' confidential information for their own purposes and that their own confidential information is protected.
An employment contract allows an employer to hire an employee for a specific role in exchange for a salary. The employment contract should have a number of restrictions to prevent the employee from working for a competitor or for intellectual property developed during the course of employment from being used by the employee outside of work.
Having the right non-disclosure and employment agreements in place will allow you to thrive in an incubator programme. To create a customisable lawyer approved contract for only £9.95, sign up to Legislate. Legislate offers all the essential legal documents on no legal budget so that you can focus on your business and have peace of mind that your legals are in order.
Everything you need to do in your first 100 days
Making a decision to hire a solicitor can be difficult, particularly if money is an issue.
An article for all those interested in creating and managing contracts