Incubators and accelerator-programs that provide guidance and facilities to start-ups are multiplying. But how do they work? What are the benefits? And what is the difference between them? Maha Barada and her Leaning World team of reporters try to answer these questions with the help of a business expert from Boston and with examples on the ground – from Burundi to France.
USA: Seeds of Success
Lots of big, successful firms like Facebook, Twitter and Google got off the ground without them. But, as business expert Kyle Judah from the Martin Trust Center at MIT in Boston explains, a start-up incubator or accelerator can bring real benefits like opening up resources, potential customers, mentors and investors.
Burundi: Box of Ideas
They are brightly coloured, portable, robust and revolutionary – and each one is full to the brim with educational and cultural treasures. Hi-tech Ideas Boxes – the brainchild of the Libraries Without Borders NGO – are already changing the lives of refugees in Burundi. Now the plan is to take the concept further – to the heart of Europe. See how this accelerator works in practice.
France: Getting in Pole Position
The incubator concept has been embraced by university students in France who are getting a taste of what professional life is all about – by designing and making racing cars as part of EPSA. And looking at the results from Ecole Centrale in Lyon, these budding engineers really are going places.