We’re proud to announce that we recently got accepted into the Telecom Paris Tech Incubator. It took a few months to go through the whole process and we figured it might be interesting to share what we learnt with other startups looking to get incubated in Paris or elsewhere.
Target the right match for your startup
There is an increasing number of incubators and accelerators in Paris. Choosing among all these options can be a bit overwhelming.
Here are a few things to have in mind to make an informed decision :
- incubator vs accelerator : incubators typically offer long-term location + some services, accelerators are more intensive (~3 months) and give you direct access to great mentorship ;
- price : an incubator can cost 10 000€/year (a sum that can be funded by the PIA) others are “free” but will require equity (up to 10% of your startup) ;
- business fit : you may want to choose an incubator that specializes in your particular vertical. In Paris, you have incubators dedicated to health, mobile or video games for example ;
- alumnis and network : choosing a successful incubator can give you access to a network of great people to ask advice to, hire or do business with ;
- calendar : some accelerators like Le Camping or Startup42 only accept new applicants every few months. If you can’t wait, it might be best to look elsewhere ;
There is a lot of choices and you should be able to find 2-3 great options for your start-up.
Parallelize your applications
Applying to incubators takes time, time that you will not spend working on your business. In order to minimize this, I suggest you :
- go over the submission papers of the 2-3 choices you are interested in (either download them or ask the incubators) ;
- fill them out (copy/paste is your friend) and submit them. Don’t forget to prepare a PIA form if you’re eligible too ;
- plan out meetings with the incubators to discuss your project ;
Applying to several incubators at the same time will make things faster and will offer you a cushion of safety in case you get rejected by one of them. If you do get rejected by 3 incubators it might be wise to reevaluate your project. Or not.
Do your due diligence
Last but not least, make sure you know what you’re stepping into before joining an incubator. Talk with alumnis, people within your networks. Visit the location and hang around the watercooler.
Hopefully these 3 tips will help you find the best place to begin your start-up journey. Good luck!