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Incubating the Niche

The State of Startups

Let’s start with some statistics. Only 40% of startups are able to become profitable. Nine out of ten startups don’t make it. Twenty per cent of startups fall apart after a year. Thirty per cent close within two years. Fifty per cent shut their doors within five years. Seventy per cent dissolve within ten years. The primary reason for these numbers is a lack of ability to offer a product for a target market. Many companies are not able to generate interest in their products or services. Some companies also struggle with marketing. They do not have the finances to do it right and present what they have to offer to the right segment of the public.

The thing in common about most of these issues, aside from the lack of market, is that they are solvable (with the appropriate resources, of course). That is where incubators come in: they help fledgling businesses manage the easy-to-solve problems that come with starting a business. For that reason, most incubators focus their resources only on those companies that can demonstrate real market demand for their products or services. Arquimea, a Spanish technology incubator, is even more specialised: they build up startups with niche-focused business strategies.

Go to Market

Arquimea earned its spot on the Financial Times’ Fastest-Growing Companies in Europe list by improving from 7 million EUR in revenue in 2017 to over 72 million in 2020. They have done this by creating a technology ecosystem where ideas transform into disruptive solutions that boost the progress of the world. They do not promote just any disruptive solutions; they focus on certain industries: space, healthcare, defence and security, critical infrastructures, and life science. In addition to standard resources, the company performs its own specialised R&D at the Arquimea Research Centre. The Centre is a private research centre born to develop ideas and get involved in projects with high technological and social impact, through a multidisciplinary strategy. There, they rely on a product-oriented strategy, market diversification, and internationalisation to achieve sustainable growth with the aim of creating the technology of tomorrow. By doing so, their 60+ researchers create a multidisciplinary space to share technologies, ideas and projects, thereby improving the efficacy of its companies when they do eventually go to market.

The markets Arquimea targets may be niche, but not in geographic terms. They now have offices and R&D centres in Spain, Germany, the United States, and Malaysia. The company now boasts clients in over 20 countries, with 600+ employees available to serve those clients. Given its commitment to innovation, the company is showing no signs of its explosive growth slowing down anytime soon.