Jeff Bezos, the Founder and CEO of Amazon once said, “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.”
Bezos has a remarkable story to tell. He took the big step of going from being an employee with a ton of security to becoming an entrepreneur. Despite the fact that even his own parents thought his idea of selling books online was crazy, he continued and managed to prove everybody wrong. Today Bezos, as the founder and CEO of Amazon, runs a company that you all know and the services of which many of you use on a daily basis.
The story of Bezos may inspire some of you- on top of buying from Amazon- to start an entrepreneurial activity of your own. As an expat in Luxembourg, it’s likely you’ll have difficulty finding all the information you need in order to open your own business.
To help with this situation, very recently, the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce launched the House of Entrepreneurship where support, guidance and information on how to set up a company in Luxembourg is provided.
However, is this enough?
An entrepreneurial activity, is not only about the necessary administrative procedures to set up a company, but moreover entails the execution and realization of ideas; decision- making; marketing; financial management; legal; accounting and so forth.
So what happens when you have an idea and you would like to try to transform it into a business model? Or when you believe you have a solution to a problem that the society is facing ( social entrepreneurship)? If you’re new to entrepreneurship and have never written a business plan and words like “landing page” and “business model canvas” are “Greek” to you or “Chinese” (if you’re Greek like me)…then what?
In my opinion, the best place to address your questions is at an incubator or accelerator. For those of you that never seen these terms before, these are places where you will find coaches, mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, networking, management training but also co-working space, and let’s face it, a shoulder to cry on when the “roller-coaster” of entrepreneurship takes a deep dive.
Below I’ve listed the main start-up incubators in Luxembourg to help you on your way to success. Just remember entrepreneurship it is not only about making money and being independent; it is about discovering aspects of yourself that you never knew that existed and about learning new things and meeting people. Some will inspire you, some will make you angry, but all of them (both positive and negative) will help you move forward in your journey!
Nyuko helps startups accelerate and provides support through business mentoring, organization of events, networking and co-working space. It also sponsors 2 contests for entrepreneurs: 1,2,3Go and 1,2,3Go Social. If your project idea is selected, a series of training and business coaching will be provided, and you will be supported in writing a business plan and meeting investors. These programs are easily accessible and are free of charge. If you have never written a business plan or studied entrepreneurship NYUKO’s programs are definitely a great help!
The mission of Lux Future Lab is to support individuals who would like to move forward with their entrepreneurial ideas by providing facilities, educational resources, professional services and networking opportunities.
It supports three target groups during the critical moments of their development:
1. Students on the verge of choosing their future career paths
2. Startups seeking to set up their companies
3. Employees wanting to become independent & launch a company
Technoport is an incubator supporting the creation and development of innovative and technology oriented companies in Luxembourg.
Technoport® ltd. was set-up in June 2012 as the result of the merger between the former Technoport®, a technology-oriented business incubator launched by the Public Research Center Henri Tudor back in 1998, and Ecostart I and II, business support infrastructures developed since 2004 by the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade.
The global mission of Technoport® is to help and support individuals and small teams to validate and bridge their ideas to success through three platforms:
- The technology-oriented business incubator
- The Fab Lab- a space where advanced technology equipment is provided (i.e., 3D printers, laser cutters, milling machines, etc)
Fit 4 Start offers early stage funding and coaching to Information and Communicatiions Technology (ICT) start-ups.
Start & Code is really a fascinating program based in Luxembourg that bridges tech and social issues, through a tech accelerator dedicated to digital startups that intend to hire people and a training program for youth and migrants to learn code.
It wishes to tackle youth and immigrants unemployment by teaching them digital skill in addition to the traditional incubator for digital startups.
InnoHub Luxembourg is a soft landing platform and accelerator for national and international startups that want to scale up their business by commercialising their product or service from Luxembourg to international markets.
The newly launched 6zero1 is an incubator for social enterprises. It assists corporations and enterprises to get the “SIS” status: Societe d’Impacte Sociale and also provides mentoring and training on different aspects of business management. It also helps startups to measure their social impact.
If you know of another incubator or accelerator that should be added to the list, please let us know. Remember to enjoy the entrepreneurial process and don’t forget, you are not alone, there is always someone to assist you!