What is Wrong with Incubators and Why We Are Starting a New One?


When Bill Gross created Idealabin 1996, during the early days of the internet boom, startup incubators were a fairly unique concept. Incubators differ from research and tech parks. Incubators are strictly dedicated to startups. Most tech parks do not offer any business assistance services.

Business incubation has jump-started our economy in many cases. Now accelerators and incubators have multiplied and are found all over the world. In the most recent count, it was determined that there are more than 6000 accelerators and incubators out there and they do a great job.

In our local market, 1871 is a thriving incubator. It is the pride of the Chicago city government and the startup ecosystem. It helped to convert the flyover county into a startup destination.

Incubators advise entrepreneurs on how to build a startup. In most cases, they need help in planning and very specific items. Advice is useful, but more importantly, a helping hand goes a long way. So we decided to start an incubator that actually builds startups instead of advising.

All of these incubators are accelerators that target startups with an existing team. Recruiting the right team is the biggest challenge for a first-time entrepreneur.

So the main question becomes, how do you recruit a tech co-founder when you have only an idea? If you are able to find funding or paying customers, you might be able to recruit a quality tech co-founder. But, this is a catch 22.

You have a couple of options.

You can try to hire a developer from a local development company or find a freelance employee or search on Craigslist. In most cases, these don’t fare well. This is primarily because your developer builds exactly what you architect. Unless you spend years building apps, not sure how qualified you are for the architecture and if you have the high-level skill set necessary.

We created CodeVentures as a mix of a development agency and an incubator. It is our mission to build startup companies, not just apps or products. It is our goal to help you build a lasting business. We would like you to think ahead and not only come up with an application or product but determine if you can build a business. Are there multiple products that you will be able to launch?

I, personally, will act as the tech co-founder for the startups we choose. I will also work closely with our developers to create your vision of the startup and turn it into reality. Of course, we will use the best technology stack available. We do this for a minority equity stake in the startup.

How do I choose which startups to partner with?

Since we are an equity partner in the startups, we want to select the companies with significant potential. Your success is our success. One question we ask ourselves is if we build a great product and are able to gain some traction in 6-12 months, what is the likelihood of receiving VC funding? Or at least large angel funding in order to scale the business?

We are located in the Chicago area and prefer to work with team members who we can meet with face to face, at least occasionally.

Here are some of the questions I would like to be answered when upon our initial point of contact:
-Have you validated the customer need? If not, how can we validate it without spending an entire year building the product?
-How much research you have done so far on the pain points? Also, how are existing solutions addressing it, if there are any existing solutions?
-Once we build the product or MVP, what is your exact plan to acquire customers? Who will call the potential customers and sit down with them?

With over 10 years of business experience, over 60 engineers, over 2000 projects delivered, and greater than 10000 successful clients, my team have become a leading hybrid agency. We normally deal with web applications, marketplaces, social applications, SaaS, mobile apps, wearable tech, enterprise applications, and IoT. We might not be the most optimal fit for mobile or web games including animation.

So, if you have a startup concept to make this world a better place and all you are missing is a solid tech partner, CodeVentures may be the solution that you are searching for. Let’s talk.

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