More than 500 new internet start-ups over the next three years are to receive backup from the new Internet Incubators, winners of the DTI’s Internet Incubator Fund run by UK Business Incubation (UKBI), a public/private partnership. The Fund is part of the DTI’s £5.5m Internet Mentoring Initiative, launched in October 2000.
Five of the incubators are based in the North of England, one in the South West, two in the Midlands and two in Scotland.
See also: How business incubators help boost growth and innovation – how incubators have evolved to meet the needs of modern businesses
UKBI’s Arnaud Drapier remarked that start-ups do not always have the experience or time to tackle business issues like marketing, for example. They are at a very early stage in the business development process and will benefit from an incubator, which will provide them with business support services, such as handling their marketing strategy for them.
The University of the West of England (UWE) “Minternet” incubator’s business support service plans include providing physical incubation premises, “hotdesks”, a mentoring programme, a business plan competition and links to regional information communication technology funds.
The “Far Blue Incubator” plans to offer space in Scotland’s “leading telecommunications facility with unrivalled infrastructure and fibre optic network”.
Drapier explained that although the internet incubators are focused on internet start-ups, they do not necessarily mean dotcoms. It could be a traditional company with a new internet angle; “they must just be able to prove that they can use the internet in a new way”. That is the crux of the project.
E-entrepreneurs who are looking for a suitable business incubator should contact the ten winners direct with their ideas.