We are working at our MVP (we can develop app, server & graphic ).
We got a business model but no business plan because we don't have a marketing specialist.
There's one incubator program that will start in 2 months, but we don't know if we have to apply. The problem is that we have a lot of opportunities to talk with VCs, even in other countries, in these months but we need time to refine our idea and MVP.
The incubator ( enl*REMOVETHIS*abs.it )seems to offer us a dynamic environment, mentoring, a starting seed and will help us building the business & marketing side of our project.
The seed could be used to speed up development and to build a small user base.
On the other side:
VCs opportunities are big:
However, we have been warned that those VCs are very difficult to convince, and we fear that the work required to refine idea, develop MVP & maybe a beta, strong business plan, can be too much (talking about time ) for us.
What is the pro and con of an incubator? Do we need to stop for 6 months from june and take the choice of the incubator or work for the presentation to the VC? And if our idea become old in that time? Can we handle it by ourselves?
While not everything, the most important aspect in my mind is equity.
VCs: The general rule is the more risk they take the more equity they consume. If your idea is still pre-MVP I wouldn't even consider it. Even if you were able to get a VC to give you money the terms are going to be far from favorable. I would take this option off the table for now.
Incubator: They vary widely in the amount of equity they take and the capital/resources they offer. If this will be the difference between you guys being able to get to and test your MVP then you should do it. If you can finish and test your MVP on your own then maybe it's worth doing that for 6 months and skipping the incubator all together.
I would do my homework on any Incubator/VC you are considering. Contact startups which have gone through them before, look at the people involved (can they help your startup?), and most importantly look at your team. Decide whether you can build/test/learn on your own or if having an incubator or VC applying pressure/connections will help.
There are successful startups which have come out of bootstrapping, incubators, and VCs/angels. Which path is right for your idea and your team?