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Three top tips from our incubator entrepreneurs

There’s a tonne of benefits new business owners can access as part of our incubator, more than we could ever fit into just one blog.

From insightful workshops and access to investors, to sharing your experiences, opinions and ideas with the other like-minded entrepreneurs on the programme, we provide a whole lot of knowledge to get your business starting strong.

With that in mind, we asked some of our entrepreneurs, along with a snippet from one of our workshop tutors, for some tips to support your new journey.

I’ve just thought of my business idea, what next?

Harry Serle, owner of safeguarding instant messaging service ChatPro, and part of our third cohort, recommends firstly making a visual representation of your product or service before you start introducing it to people:

“If you start describing it to people, it doesn’t really work. But if you’re able to show it to them, ask ‘what do you think, is that solving a problem for you’ then it opens up a discussion and that works well.”

Sharing your idea with friends or family first is also a top suggestion from Harry, who claims it’s less worrying and introduces you to the idea of people giving feedback on your idea before taking it to a relevant professional.

He adds, “Tweak your product [following feedback] and have those adjustments for the next person you show it to, so it’s that kind of incremental refinement of what you’re offering” as some additional advice on the evolution of your idea.

Take a look at the full interview with Harry here.

I want to start talking to people about it, so how do I make a networking event a success?

Local entrepreneur, Jeni Smith, owns networking agency Networking Know Who, and runs a workshop as part of our incubator, training our businesses on all they need to know in order to maximise their networking potential.

Jeni’s first suggestions include the benefits of arriving early, to both familiarise yourself and reduce any anxiety over entering a room full of people, as well as speaking directly with the organiser.

“The organiser is 100% going to be the most connected person in the room, and they’re there to help you – don’t be afraid to ask for introductions or recommendations from them”, she adds.

While you might picture a networking event as a blend of black and grey suits, Jeni suggests wearing something colourful instead.

“This helps you stand out; if you’re in a sea-full of plain colours and you’re wearing red, it will help people subconsciously remember you”.

Lastly, Jeni highlights the importance of digitally connecting with people from the event, to continue the conversation and enhance your network – this is where your memorable red shirt comes in handy!

Check out this part of Jeni’s workshop in the video below for more invaluable networking advice.

How should I present myself and ideas to DCI?

Our application process is straight-forward and fast.

Following the brief online application form, shortlisted business owners are invited in to pitch to some of our team. We’re not looking for a finely polished finished article, but what we do need to see is the potential for your business to grow.

For your pitch, ChatPro’s Harry suggests to “…emphasise your ambition and the scalability of your business idea (i.e. think big)” when presenting to the interviewers. If you’re struggling to believe in yourself or idea, we have some invaluable tips on how to beat those imposter gremlins on our imposter syndrome blog.

He continues “If you get a place, make the most of it. The programme is only 6-months but if you use the resources available, you can make decisive progress in that time”, which is some great advice on how to not only make a good impression on your tutors, mentors and fellow entrepreneurs, but to set your new business off on the very best footing whilst on the programme.

See what more of our businesses say about joining our programme:

These tips are just a scratch on the surface of what businesses can gain from our incubator programme. If you’re interested in finding out more about what we offer, visit our About page, or contact us directly via the details on our website if you wish to discuss your idea in advance.

The next application deadline is Friday 6th May 2022

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