In effect, all parents are incubators, for instance when they teach their children to ride a bike. The bolt a pair of stabiliser wheels to their first bikes, ride beside them as a role model and motivate them to carry on – even if they fall off every now and again. When the children have learned how to ride without help, they astound their parents with BMX stunts that they could never have dreamed were possible. In principle, incubators are just like stabilisers, but for ideas rather than bikes. An incubator hatches young enterprises that are, so to speak, still in the egg: It offers them protection and optimum conditions for growth in their formative phases. They are established to kindle the unexploited potentials of innovation drivers within the concern. In them, employees are, for example, given the opportunity to work on their own ideas and projects. Red tape is removed, barriers are lowered and these talented colleagues are given all the resources they need: mentoring, places to work, network contacts, time and financial support.
Incubators are not simply window-dressing to make a concern look more innovative. In the globalised present day, where entrepreneurial thinking and willingness to accept and adopt change are more important than ever before, incubators have become an essential factor of life. Between Stuttgart, China and Silicon Valley, concerns battle to get the best developers, knowledge experts, manufacturing specialists and innovation drivers onto their own teams. They need some form of intrinsic motivation before they can develop their full potential and put it to use. Incubators are where they can find this motivation.