How To Grow Your Startup Past the Incubator Stage

While there’s some controversy on whether or not 90 percent of startups are actually bound to fail within their first year, there’s no doubt that there are some mistakes that early-stage startups can avoid to land (and stay) on the path to success. Incubators, providing more than just office space and mentorship, can also be a great provider of support to early-stage startups.

Here are a few ways to help grow your startup, beyond the incubator stage (via Mashable):

Choose Carefully

Choosing an incubator isn’t like choosing what to eat for lunch… it’s a serious decision that could impact your startup’s future before it even begins. Researching incubators and their strengths and specializations will help you match up with the one that best fits your startup’s needs.

Disrupt, Substitute or Complement

Your startup should be doing one of three things – disrupting, substituting, or complementing. These three things will be key to help your startup stand out, especially if you’re going into a generalized market. After all, following Kendall Wouters’s advice, “most incubators are cultivating a garden of startups that are dead on arrival”.

Network, Network, Network

What good is having your startup if customers don’t know you exist? You have to get your brand out there – connecting with brands, customers, and everyone in between will help you to grow your startup. Along with that, it’s important to connect offline. Whether it’s at a tech conference or in line at your favorite coffee shop, connections and new relationships can be where you least expect them.

Mentorship is the Name of the Game

Mentorship is paramount, especially for early-stage startups. Having a mentor can help push you farther than you expect – in addition to being an invaluable resource of advice, a mentor can also support you in other ways. Though it can take some time to find one, having a mentor is one of the best things you can do for your career and identity as an entrepreneur.

Though these are just a few tips, they can really make a difference with the growth of your startup.

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Cameron is a tech and culture journalist, comic book enthusiast, and lives near New York City. A graduate of Stockton University, she's using her words to shift the world of online journalism, one byline at a time. When she's not writing, she can be found reading sci-fi novels, collecting succulents, and planning her next obnoxious hair color. Cameron is an editorial fellow at Tech.Co. Send your tips to or tweet @BlkGirlManifest.
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