Coworking vs Business Incubator Space, What is the Difference?


Coworking spaces and incubators are mostly considered as synonyms, but there are certainly some differences between the two.

The entire concept of coworking spaces has seen major growth in the last decade. These shared office spaces have appealed startups, freelancers as well as small businesses to take their business to the next level. These spaces also give you the opportunity to work apace with like-minded professionals instead of working alone.

Incubators, on the other hand, are apt for ambitious entrepreneurs and professionals whose aim is to build high-growth companies. Almost one-third of the incubators that exist are sponsored or funded by organizations engaged in economic development.

Both shared office spaces and incubators have their own differences along with their own benefits. Although both these spaces are a boon to startups and small businesses, here are five things that differentiate the two.


Coworking spaces provide spaces for rent on an hourly, monthly or yearly basis, whereas incubators are usually free or are a lot lower in price as compared to shared office spaces. Incubators, though free but takes a percentage of your company’s equity. A coworking space comes with added services like free Wi-Fi, cafeteria, well-stocked pantries, lounge areas, etc, which are missing in incubators.

Time and Engagement

Incubators expect startups to show some results after a certain time because of the effort and funding they put on them. A commitment of almost 1-6 months is required for an incubator program. Whereas coworking spaces are more flexible. You can come and go whenever you like. The entire idea of a collaborative workspace is to create a comfortable working environment where you are committed only to yourself and your work.


Shared workspaces do not provide funding to any of the businesses in their space. They usually look for investors who can invest in various events. Incubators work in a totally different way where they provide funding for the startups that are selected for their programs.


Both shared workplaces, as well as incubators, have their own way of networking. While incubators have a keen interest and focus more on connecting startups, coworking spaces bring together like-minded people across various businesses to create, connect and collaborate.


Incubators have a lot more professional environment when compared to coworking spaces. Incubators usually have well-trained staff who are aware of the startup environment. Though shared office spaces also have professional people, they may not be trained to answer questions related to any business. Coworking spaces are more about providing a comfortable workspace ideal for startups and small businesses.

Gopalan Coworks with coworking spaces across five locations in Bangalore ensures that all the basic needs for your business are taken care of. We also offer flexible payment plans and make things easy on your pocket.

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