A few weeks ago I decided to apply for the University of Central Florida Business Incubator program. I found out about them while visiting a business office complex in downtown Kissimmee basically researching for an office building for our startup.
In that meeting I was told that I needed to personally guarantee and sign a three-year lease for an office space which ran around $1500 for less than 1000/sq. While touring the building, the rental office lady took me to an office right next door to UCF business incubator. On may way out I decided to enter the building and get some information.
They gave me some brochures and redirected me to their website in case I wanted to apply.
It turns out that they offer business advice, research and assistance to startups in the greater Orlando area. I applied that very same night and the next day I received a call for the office manager of the Kissimmee UCF Incubator and setup a time to drop by and pitch my startup.
This was the very first time that I would need to convince someone else that my startup made sense and it was a good idea. I arrived the next afternoon with my iPad and my pitch presentation. I meet Jim and explained my startup to him, now that I think about it I probably over emphasized some points which okay. I am sure I will make worst mistakes than that.
During the meeting it was explained to me that they cater to B2B which was perfect as it fits our business model like a glove. Jim also explained that have a research body of about 7 people who can assist us researching the market, etc… another great benefit was that they provide an office facility at low-cost and without a contract. So instead of paying $1500 for an office in the very same building. I would pay around $500 dollars and not be bound by a 3 year lease. In addition my business would get access to conference rooms, break room, secretary and basic office amenities like copier/printer/fax. In addition they can help get some help from interns as well.
Everything sounded great and I was very excited that Jim seemed to excited about our startup. In the end of the meeting he explained that I would need to take a course in June in order to be able to join and let me know that I could apply for an early acceptance program and the director of incubator would have to approve it after I pitch him.
Last week I drove to Orlando to meet with Jim and director and give them my pitch. In short I think that it went very well. This coming week I have another meeting with someone else in the UCF incubator as we’re going to do a Canvas Business model together. Off course I already have my own which I will bring with me for reference, but I am very excited to work with someone who does this day in and day out to make sure my business model is accurate.
I am hopeful that after this week I will get full approval to join the incubator program and march ahead full-speed in the developing this business. We will keep you guys posted of the developments once I know more.