By Yiming Ma, PALF associate for Stanford Social Innovation Review |

Committing to a relationship is hard. In venture capital, the first investment is the business equivalent of starting a serious relationship. Prior to investment, funds and start-ups will scrutinize each other through the due diligence process — recognizing that if due diligence is successful, they will effectively be “tying the knot” in a business context.

In recent years, a new relationship between funds casino online and start-ups has become popular: the incubator relationship. Incubators are enterprises created with the purpose of supporting start-ups, usually through providing business or industry-specific mentorship and access to capital. Startup incubators have exploded over the last few years, growing from only a handful five years ago to an estimated 170 by 2014, according to Techcrunch.

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