USC Incubator call for applications
The USC Incubator takes founders from feasibility and development work, on to customers, a tested business model, getting distribution, building a team, bootstrapping and investment preparation. We also provide access to other supporting resources, such as industry experts, investors and legal assistance. Incubator companies have gone on to raise investment, win competitions and build sustainable businesses.
The program is run by Paul Orlando, who is Incubator Venture Partner and an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship.
Application deadline for the next cohort is November 24th.
More details and the application link is at: startUSC.com
You should expect to develop these skills in the Incubator.
- Bootstrapping. The skills to get people to pay you and learning to build a sustainable business will carry you through any economic climate. Bootstrapping also allows you to get started immediately, rather than waiting to raise capital (often before it is a good use of your time). This is key for current students.
- How to run experiments that help validate your business. This includes variations on tools like the Minimum Viable Product as a way to test hypotheses, collect primary data, draw conclusions and learn what to build.
- Presenting and pitching. These skills are essential but take time to acquire, alongside someone who can give actionable feedback. We believe in giving feedback and then practicing again and again with the presenters. It takes months (at least) to become good.
What we look for in Incubator companies.
- Coachability. This is good for the company as it shows that the founders will be engaged, will do the work required and will be flexible when required to change direction.
- Capability to build. Capability is determined by the type of business being built. There are some businesses that have high technical requirements and others that are marketing-driven. Entering Incubatees should have the ability to build what their business requires, with small exceptions that fall outside the core of the business.
- Commitment and Drive. Founders that are committed and driven — especially about a problem or target customer — will stick with and be creative and resourceful.
- Those who will be engaged members of the Incubator. They will share with and help out Incubator companies. They will also engage with the opportunities offered by the Incubator.