When selecting the priority areas for the IRIS project, consideration has been given to the needs of the target group of start-ups, the potential for operational impact and also the partner capability to work in transnational environment and foster transnational incubator cooperation in BSR.
For two years, 14 incubators from 10 countries across the region have been working together in an effort to improve their services for clients – SMEs and startups. Overall the developed instruments and best practices aim to increase and improve the individual incubators support capacity in the selected thematic areas in the target group.
Five thematic priority areas were chosen for improving the support toolbox provided by incubators aiming at business development and sustainable growth. Close to 300 startups and entrepreneurs have so far benefited from these improved incubation services. They experimented with new techniques, assessed their internal processes and introduced changes to their approaches.
The five thematic priority areas have been carefully identified and chosen by the partnership based on the collective experience as incubator professionals and were selected as follows:
- High quality deal-flow to incubators
- Coaching for growth and sustainability
- Successful management in start-ups and SME´s
- Female entrepreneurship
- Internationalisation of SMEs business activities
For all five areas new support instruments are now available as a result of joint brain storming, development and practical tests. Furthermore peer reviews as method to evaluate and improve management capacity can now be spread to Innovation Infrastructure Organisations in BSR in the form of these guidelines.