What distinguishes The i4 Center


There are many incubators and accelerators, and for good reason

They speed up innovation that would otherwise be done internally, burning lots of time and money, and usually resulting in incremental change. The industry-specific labs, such as Barclays Rise, or Standard Bank’s incubator are examples. The sponsors get the first pick of the litter when it comes to innovation. Who does this? The most eager corporate sponsors are those concerned about their industries being disrupted by emerging technologies and business models.

They foster new ideas: the physical spaces encourage coffee-break interactions that spur hand-crafted thinking. Corporate environments are rarely cool enough to do this… no matter how expensive the push-button coffee machine.

They allow entrepreneurs to focus on their products by providing business and leadership support around apparently less essential areas… which turn out to be essential, after all.

That said, the focus of most centers is either:

Industry-specific… furniture, farming, or fintech shops mentioned above: the focus is an industry.

Technology-specific… such as green tech, clean tech or sustainability solutions, sometimes springing from a university. For decades, incubators have had a focus of commercialization government (think NASA-birthed) technologies or university IP

Location-specific… such as Silicon Valley (doing whatever tech), or any of the other “valleys”

Fund-specific… driven by the mandate of a particular pot of money.

The i4 Center is different. We operate with many of the “normal” features of other incubator/accelerators, and add to the mix:

Inspired Innovation™: We love innovation, and we have learned to figure out the difference between “everyday innovation” and innovation that is inspired. In fact, we have an Inspired Innovation™ framework that itself comes from a dream, and it is designed to elevate inspirations to their highest possible plane.

Tackling Giants: “Don’t just start a business, pick a fight.” This is what we tell would-be business leaders. Your company needs a purpose outside of itself. The i4 Center is a training ground for giant-fighters, not a club for nest-featherers. The i4 Center focuses on companies that want to tackle societal problems in a comprehensive and sustainable manner.

Spiritual Capital: It takes many forms of capital to get from “Ah ha!” to “Ka-ching!” When your invention or idea is taking aim at a giant, you need more than cash and collaborators… you need spiritual capital. We know it, nurture it, and infuse it into our clients.

Aligned collaborators: Any self-respecting incubator lists mentors or advisors and dangles the carrot of meeting these notables or, better yet, weaving your way into their networks. We also list Advisors… as you would expect. Where do we find them? The Institute, a Silicon Valley Think Tank, has trained over 1,000 businesspeople and worked with about the same number of executives in nearly 400 companies around the world. All shared the tools and methods of transformation encapsulated in the integrated writings and practices of The Institute.


What distinguishes the i4 Center?

For the answer to that, click here to view the PDF.