Strategy consultancies Bain & Co and McKinsey & Co have launched the Bainlab and Accelerator, while the Silicon Valley stars Sun Microsystems, Cisco and Oracle are moving in with their own schemes.
But, says Credo, a specialist entrepreneurial consultancy launched earlier this year, not all those on offer are that helpful. So, next year, it is entering the field with LaunchPad, a scheme aimed at speeding embryonic businesses' time-to-market success.
Credo's Chris Molloy believes his company's attraction lies in the diversity of services it offers start-ups. By linking up with Hewlett-Packard, the grande dame of Silicon Valley, and FutureStep, the online arm of the executive recruitment consultancy Korn-Ferry International, he reckons it can help with "key things that young businesses need under one roof" - the launch of a business strategy, the right team and supporting technology.
it also promises to help with relationships with lawyers, accountants and marketing specialists. And to address the critical issue of funding - via its venture capitalists network.
Both Credo and HP have access to funds for start-ups in their early stages. Together with London Ventures, Credo is in the middle of putting together a pounds 3m "boot-strap" fund to make investments of up to pounds 150,000 in very early-stage businesses.
Mr Molloy hopes this will help deal with the "chicken-and-egg" trap. "Start-ups want funds to turn their ideas into something tangible, but they won't get funding as they've got nothing that's tangible," he says.
There is also a flexible approach to payment - start-ups can either defer fees or agree to pay according to success. Or they can give up a stake in the business.
Hewlett-Packard's involvement is seen as particularly valuable because it can help evaluate the business potential, put together a technical strategy and, in some cases, offer its own technologies to assist with the development of the idea.Reuse content