SXSW 2019

Incubators: A Startup Guide from the Field


Companies invest in startups to avoid missing the next big thing (FOMO). While corporations initially built incubators for early-stage startups, most now focus on ventures with product/market fit (PMF) to capitalize on organizational scale and causal outcomes. Where then, do earlier stage ventures -- those with an MVP and aggressively seeking PMF -- find haven? Within consulting, foundations, and higher education, new ventures are emerging that embrace early-stage risk to identify new ideas. Academic frameworks, such as effectuation, instill a leaner and scrappier approach to venture creation by deconstructing decision making of successful entrepreneurs. Consulting firms are leveraging intrapreneurs for idea generation. Are other companies missing out?

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Effectual Principles - a framework based on Darden professor Saras Sarasvathy's expansive work on the subject of venture creation.
  2. Academic vs Social vs Corporate Incubators - presenters will share their approaches at University of Virginia, SEED SPOT, and Booz Allen.
  3. Moving from Tasks to Asks - the art and science behind why early-stage focus on learning to ask produces better results than being task oriented.



Jason Brewster, Incubator Director, University of Virginia

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Entrepreneurship & Startups
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate

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