Although the drawbacks to incubator life are minimal, as you might have guessed, there are a few. Perhaps the biggest is that you're expected to participate in various communal incubator events, which, though helpful, will take you away from your business. You must also be willing to accept help.
"You can't go in thinking you just want reduced rent and you don't need any assistance," says Bourne at the Pasadena Enterprise Center. "Regular meetings [on technical assistance and business counseling] are generally required."
The acceptance policy varies among incubators, but in general, they're looking for business ideas with potential and entrepreneurs who can make their visions realities. This often includes writing a solid business plan and submitting a personal financial statement.
Most incubators require tenants to graduate and move out after a specified period of time, usually after four or five years. Being booted from the nest may seem harsh, but if you've used your time there to the fullest, your business will be more than ready to spread its wings and fly unassisted to even greater heights.