The first time I’ve seen the “incubator for x” category given a name: Vertical Incubator.
It’s important to give it a name, because it’s a model we’re going to see grow tremendously in popularity, even outside of tech.
According to AngelList there are 1,530 organizations listed as “incubators.” Even assuming several hundred of these are using the broadest definition of the word to describe themselves, it’s an incredible number. Many (the majority?) are what I’d categorize as “horizontal” – that’s to say, they don’t focus on a specific industry but rather try to help a group of startups generally advance their development. Whether you want to call them incubators, accelerators or any other name, the template is pretty similar: fixed amount of time inside the program in exchange for equity (and sometimes a cash investment).
As a seed fund investor here’s what I want from an incubator: (a) serve as a selection filter for me to meet interesting companies and (b) give their startups a competitive advantage via deep network beyond their incubation. I know that many incubators commit to doing more than this – mentors…
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