Co-working spaces, accelerators and incubators, are all vying for the attention of start-ups. Each option, offers real advantages, for a fledging business, but it can seem impossible, to decide, which one is the right choice. All three, offers, viable alternatives and have seen a popularity, as start-ups, crave the flexibility and opportunities, each one offers.
While co-working spaces, are affordable, shared places, where small firms, freelancers, start-ups and, even, entrepreneurs, can rent office-like amenities, such as hot-desks, private meeting rooms, kitchens and more provided, many co-working spaces, also offer advice and mentorship, to the start-ups, through dedicated services, events and networking sessions.
Incubators, on the other hand, are for start-ups, in the early phases of starting up. They focus more, on mentorship, do not operate on set schedule and are, usually, run by industry-specific companies and groups. They also, have a competitive interview process that, allows them to, determine, whether a company is, good fit for their services. Incubators, will, often, access the performance and progress of their client companies, to ensure that, they are reaching desired milestones.
Accelerator programs operate on a set schedule and offer mentorship to improve the growth of start-ups. They invest time and resources, into their client companies, over a short period, with cohort graduation in mind. Companies that utilise accelerators, are typically, technological-based and already, somewhat, established.
The choice, between a co-working space, an incubator and an accelerator, would be very personal to you and your business. It, however, depends on your start maturity and your future plans.
I recently had Nkechi Oguchi, CEO, Ventures Park, Abuja, as my guest on Tech Trends Tech Trends on Channels Television and she spoke on the roles of co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators, in the ecosystem and lots more.
CFA: Nkechi, glad to have you on the show.
Nkechi: It’s my pleasure to be here.
CFA: Are you happy, with the quality of Founders that, you have found, so far, here?
Nkechi: The start-up ecosystem, in Abuja is, growing. You cannot compare it with Lagos that is more vibrant with more options, but Abuja has seen growth, especially, if the start-ups are being funded. We have more developers that are being groomed and bred, here in Abuja and this is evident in the developer communities that are coming up.
We have more of them, coming up with more members. We’ve seen them grow and not just in the number, but, also, in the quality of the ideas that are coming up. We see a lot of funding, going into, enabling developers, build structures and build businesses. I think that, this encouragement has pushed and compelled people, to become developers, to learn how to develop, so, it is a growing place and I think we will see more of that, happening.
CFA: I will like to get your perspectives on this. How do you think, we can deal with the issue of start-ups, who start here and end up in Lagos?
Nkechi: I don’t think it is something that we should discourage, or, try to stop, because, you might be building a solution here in Abuja and your market is in Lagos, so, you have to go to Lagos. You might be building a solution and you will need to test it in Lagos because, Lagos has a larger market, or, sample size, large for you, to test with, so, I think it is something that would happen and we shouldn’t try to discourage it.
This is because, Lagos has a more robust investor community than here in Abuja, so, it does happen and I don’t think that we should discourage it, but what we can do, to help is, for us to get more active, here in Abuja. For us to encourage people to build more businesses, for us, to encourage, more investors, to spring up in Abuja, as well.
I think these would help to boost the start-up ecosystem, here as well.
You can watch the full interview here