Networking approach to benefit incubators.
Networking is the basis for the other forms of interaction described in this section. Therefore, it serves all purposes. A staff member of an incubator is likely to be a member of the game community as a private person. It is for the incubation manager to decide how intensive and to which purpose their staff should network as delegates of the incubator.
The overall benefits and rationales for networking are well-known and need not be explained here. Basically, it comes down to making personal good impressions and the resulting helpful contacts. Be it to cater to new incubation teams or for mentors or trainers or other forms of experts of which the incubation programme could benefit.
Overlooked Reasons for Networking
There are three far-reaching reasons for intensive networking that are often not a top priority for emerging incubators. These reasons and their benefits would be recommendable to consider as part of their business profile development and business vision:
- Building staff competences
- A beacon within the community
- An advocate for the industry and consultant to public authorities
Building Staff Competences
The first reason – building staff competences – is obvious with fast-changing industry developments, new technologies, etc. Nevertheless, it tends to be neglected and placed at the bottom of the priority list.
Community Beacon, Advocate & Consultant
The other two reasons – community beacon, advocate & consultant – are less obvious. Depending on how sophisticated a community and its representation is, an incubator might quickly become a known actor and driving force in the community building.
In turn, what drives many incubation managers is the aspiration to help the industry grow. In particular in an emerging community an incubator could be paramount in shaping a well informed and organised community. With this, the incubator’s renown as an expert insitutions and provider of support would grow and create trusting relationships which helps to attract young dev teams.
It would also provide the assurance for public authorities and policy-makers and their affiliated organisations that they need for negotiations and consultations with regards to public support measures for the game industry. Many incubators receive public funding or are accommodated on public premises. As the political mission mostly includes the economic development of the region, incubators are well-placed to catch the attention of decision-makers and gain their trust to shape a positive appreciation of the games business and nurture respective support schemes.