Incubation (INK) programme
Are you ready to join the LIAA Business Incubator incubation (INK) program? If you answered “yes” to each of the following questions, you should apply!
What is INK?
Incubation (INK) is meant for those companies that have been in business no longer than three years. Throughout all of Latvia there are 15 LIAA Business Incubators that implement the INK program. One of those that's located in Riga specializes in supporting ideas within the creative industry. Creative industries include architecture, design, film, performance art, visual art, music, publishing, television, radio and interactive media, advertising, gaming and interactive software, culture, cultural education, leisure, entertainment, and more.
During incubation, participants receive a variety of consultations including from mentors that are known within the industry, an opportunity to attend seminars, access to the co-working space and community, as well as financial support. The INK program lasts four years or as long as the participant has attained their development goals.
INK participants are tasked with developing their products/services, as well as increasing their resources and knowledge in order to become competitive in the global market and become an exporting company. During this process, the incubator helps define the company's priorities and come to solutions for problematic situations.
Who is the INK program for?
INK is suitable for a variety of small and medium sized businesses - both for service providers and manufacturers with the requirement that they're no older than three years old. A typical incubator participant is an entrepreneur that would like to receive support and improve their skills as well as gain new knowledge and participate actively in the entrepreneurial community by sharing their knowledge as well as contacts.
What will you gain?
An INK participant gains access to the incubator community, co-working spaces and seminars, which are a good opportunity to expand your knowledge for the development of your business. At the same time, there's the opportunity to access the co-financing support. 50% co-financing is available for the development of prototypes and design, bookkeeping, legal and marketing services, workspace rental costs, as well as purchasing materials and equipment. Companies make use of the incubator support mechanisms in order to reach their goals faster.
For example, a retailer that isn't an incubator participant has to pay in full for renting retail space, buying materials, marketing services, and equipment purchasing. However an INK participat would only pay 50% of these expenses from their own budget. It makes it possible to choose where the leftover funds can be allocated - into further growth, in reducing their product retail costs, improving their competitiveness or increasing the salaries of their team members in order to hire the best professionals to the team.
An INK participant is provided with a constructive environment for the company's further development. Here, their knowledge of entrepreneurship is constantly developed, valuable contacts are developed, and collective intellect is used to the maximum for the solution of problematic situations and making use of new opportunities. The flow of information happens rapidly and targetedly within the incubators, which increases INK participant competitiveness.
It's important to remember that by becoming an incubator participant, it's possible to attend incubator events and co-working spaces all throughout Latvia.
How to join INK?
First the entrepreneur should understand which incubator they want to apply to. That depends on the company's legal and factual addresses. An incubator can be applied to by filling out and handing in the form during the time that the incubator is accepting applications. That usually happens twice per year, and this information can be found on the LIAA website inkubatori.magneticlatvia.lv.
Applications are accepted from companies from incubator-supported industries, that have not been active for more than three years, do not have tax debt and can argument the idea's longevity. The application form (that can also be used as a business plan because of its content) is a good beginning to characterizing your ideas and goals, which you can continue to work on during the incubation process. It should be handed in electronically by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org (signed with an e-signature), or physically at a Business Incubator or LIAA customer support department and signing it on the spot. After receiving the application, the entrepreneur presents their idea and their development plan to the incubator acceptance committee. The committee evaluates the application and the entrepreneur's presentation based on previously defined criteria that is available on the LIAA website. Each Business Incubator has defined the maximum amount of INK participants they can take on. Depending on the amount of points received, the best are chosen.
When the company is accepted into the incubator, 12-24 month goals are defined together with the incubator specialists. The goals are tested during the defined period of time. Additionally to the submission of progress summaries, the client must also actively participate in the incubator community - at least once per month they should attend a member event.
Who is not able to join INK?
INK support can not be received by companies from various industries. For example, in fishing and aquaculture, agriculture, financial intermediaries, and gambling industries. A full list can be found here.