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Business incubation support to entrepreneurs is generally divided into four components, namely infrastructure, business services, financial support, and networking opportunity. These four components of the incubation support are provided through the 5 RMCERI incubation process phases which describe the duties and expectations from the incubatees throughout the incubation process. These phases are described in the following sections.
This first phase of the process goes from the innovative idea at the prototype phase to the elaboration of the business plan. During this phase, the technopreneur identifies the innovative ideas of the business, conducts further research to better understand the technology and the industry he or she wants to enter, and prepares a business plan, which will be needed in the next phase of the process.
Phase 2: Application Phase
This phase can take from one to three months; It is the phase where the incubatees go through intense training on how to pitch their business ideas before they can be considered for the actual incubation process. During this phase, the support from the incubator is very important and critical as this is the phase that will determine if the entrepreneur will actually be incubated or not.
Phase 3: Incubation Period
Phase 3 is the start of the actual incubation process during which incubatees go through in depth and specialised training that aim to equip them with the necessary skills in all aspects of business management. During this phase, entrepreneurs go through extensive training on sales, marketing, product / service development, market development, the process of patent and or trademark certification, fund raising, and all other business related aspects.
Phase 4: Graduation phase
The graduation phase is what we call the assessment phase. After providing all the supports and training to the incubatees, it is now time to assess the business and identify its readiness for the real world of business. At this point, it is believed that the entrepreneur and his or her team has gone through all the necessary training that have equipped them with all the critical skills for the success of a business; it is also assumed that the business being assessed has already developed, tested and made available to the market a product or service that clients are either already consuming or are willing to spend money to get. Finally, it is also believed at this stage that the entrepreneur has established a business that is running with all the critical components for a smooth operations.
During this phase, the incubator through its qualified appointed staff conducts the assessment on the business, growth, clients and expansion to determine the readiness of the incubated business to fly on its wings.
Phase 5: Post-graduation phase
At this last phase of the incubation process, the graduated entrepreneur, together with his or her team go through some business monitoring, training and support that aim to assist the newly created business in establishing its name among other existing and big industry players. The main objective of the post-graduation phase is to provide the entrepreneur with that extra and needed support while trying to stand on their own feet and become an independent and profitable business, but also to establish a long and lasting partnership between the incubator and the graduated incubatee for mutual support.