Opinion: Incubation Centres [Omkar Singh]

About Omkar:

I am currently Vice-President for Business and Law at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) Students’ Union, intermitting my studies towards a master’s degree in International Business, having already obtained an honours degree in Business Administration. I started my first venture at 21: Raauni Industries, which operates within the FMCG sector. I am also the founder of an IT-Educational start-up: Stumansys technologies. My current project is a campaign to set up the first Incubation Centre within ARU. I aspire to be an entrepreneur creating positive changes in the society.

My story:

Having two job offers in hand and an admission offer to join an MBA in a top notch Business school in India, I preferred to follow my dream on starting my own venture. I was just a student back in India when I had the dream and aspiration to start an IT company. Naturally, I knew nothing about businesses or companies or even the most basic thing – how to legally start and run a business. Needless to say, on my journey, I was met with all sorts of difficulties and obstacles. Many of which made me want to quit on my goal. But there is something special about ambition that pushes you beyond your current limits and open your eyes to opportunities that you never thought existed and to incidences that you never previously believed were possible. The more I tried to quit, the stronger the excitement of succeeding at this dream became. I read books, went on open days, attended seminars, etc. Then one day, I got introduced to the concept of an Incubation Centre. Here is where it gets interesting. EVERYTHING I needed to accomplish my dream of starting an IT company was to be contained within this Incubation Centre. I mean EVERYTHING - from expert knowledge; industry insiders; potential co-founders to tech support, business development classes and start-up money. I said to myself: "All contained within this one space? You must be joking!" (For Entrepreneurs, Business Enthusiasts, and First time Founders, it really does sound like a magical place). Well, within the next few days, I searched thoroughly for such a centre and to my luck and delight; I found an Incubation Centre a few hours away from my home. I signed up, attended various sessions, spoke to key people; and boy, this place was magic! (kind of). In a few months, I was well on my way to setting up and running an IT company. All with the full understanding of fundamental business laws, complex start-up strategies and rules of thumb to navigate the IT industry. Today, I have started two companies, worked on various enterprise projects and living a life I enjoy - A life of passion and purpose.

The Key? – A strong dream and help from an Incubation Centre!

Incubation Centres:

Without a doubt, Incubation Centres are important. Not just for entrepreneurial escapades but start-up businesses as well. And it’s not just me saying this, in my capacity as VP I have been privileged to meet with top-level education management executives within ARU and many of them agree with me – A centre is important! A very interesting and informative story that proves this point even further is that of InnovationRCA - Royal College of Art's incubation centre. They mentored and produced innovative companies like Ikawa Coffee and The Foldable Mu. One of their resident companies went on to create a new type of Leather – Piñatex. And in their own words “I find it difficult to imagine that I could have been successful in taking…this far without the RCA’s support.” This statement proves to a certain degree that had it not been for an incubation centre, the world right now will probably be lacking the goodies that have come out of many of these Incubation centre companies. Some of these include Uber, DropBox and Air BnB. I must only imagine that you and I won’t sit back and do nothing about it. I know I won't - I use DropBox and Uber almost everyday!

What is an Incubation Centre?

An Incubation centre is basically a centre (mostly an enclosed space) that houses important functions, tools and networks that is highly valuable for everybody and anyone who is remotely interested in 2 key areas - Entrepreneurship and Business Development.(And yes, though they overlap, they are two different things). The purpose of an incubation centre revolves around the nurturing of an idea. Everybody knows an idea is worthless without the execution and implementation skills necessary to bring that idea to reality. An incubation centre is a one-stop shop ready to eliminate that barrier of idea to reality. It is a safe haven to try, experiment, fail and begin again. The reason it works so well is in its' composition and structure. An incubation centre is not made up of scary investors, angry customers or ruthless competitors (at least it shouldn’t). It is a community-driven abode filled with people who are just as clueless or on the same level as you, chasing the same goal of achievement. Let’s compare it to a library. Nobody goes to a library to shout about how good he/she is at reciting the whole Human Rights Laws that exists. You enter a library and it is filled with people carrying out research or learning something new about what they are interested in. In a good library, you also have librarians that are quite knowledgeable to point you in the right direction to enable you find whatever it is you’re looking for. The beauty of an Incubation centre is the presence of knowledgeable individuals, people that are invested in your growth (whether as a business or as a person) to enable you find and achieve whatever it is you’re looking for. This structure has worked for several businesses around the world and the reputation of incubation centres keep growing year after year. Remember, an idea takes shape and develop when you’re constantly learning, collaborating with peers and have access to tools and networks that enables real time growth. That, my friends, it what an incubation centre enables.

Final Notes

I am very interested in Incubation centres within Higher Education Institutions because I speak to lots and lots of students (As VP and casually) and I am a witness to the entrepreneurial drive, passion and energy that many students possess. I am going to turn this interest into a campaign within ARU to set up its' first Incubation centre. WHY? Anglia Ruskin has shown huge support to innovation and enterprise by offering students different platforms to try from the Big Pitch competition to various Business seminars which are great! I think the introduction of an Incubation Centre will not only house the existing business support platforms we have but will also create a place for entrepreneurial students to feel at home, actively develop their ideas and experience the collaboration power that is only possible within the solemn walls of an incubation centre.


There is a four-question survey available here (ARU STUDENTS ONLY). Please fill it out. It will help in the campaign; to understand what you will like within this centre and how it can support your needs. For Alumni students eager to get involved, please see the contact me section just below this.

Contact me! 

Thank you for reading this. Feel free to get in touch with your feedback or for any further information. You can also tag me with your message on your social media accounts using the hash tag: #ARUInnovation. 

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


Popular Posts