Insights from 17,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

How to Name Your Startup Incubator

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Great names preframe a brand experience, attract attention, get remembered, connect with an audience, and facilitate buzz, referrals, and sales. Your company name can be a true communication asset, helping you reach key business goals – and we’re not just talking about abstract goals like the development of brand recognition over time:

When the owners of a startup incubator use a great name, they are likely to attract more customers from Google search than their competition who is using a flat, uninteresting name.  And no one wants to be the business that causes this awkward situation:

“Hey, where did you get the funding for your business? I’d love to get help like it too!”

“Oh, this. I got a lot of great support and some great funding too. Over at … oh, I can remember the name right now.”

With this in mind, follow these guidelines to develop your own amazing startup incubator name ideas and finding a great name that will help you succeed:   

Start From Where You’re Going

You are launching a startup incubator, and you’re struggling to find the right name. The first step is to hone the creative process. Start by thinking about the brand that you’re trying to build, and determine some core concepts essential to the success of your company.

Most people choose startup incubator name ideas that are strong, unique, and memorable. Also, consider names that will position you cutting-edge thinkers and success focused.

Ask yourself, What do I want people to know about my company immediately?

Here are some common answers:

  • It is High-end
  • It is Modern
  • It is Unique
  • It is Fun

Deciding which direction works best for your company will give you a sharp focus and help you develop a name (and a brand) that will support your success.  

Think Smart, a winning name from one of the many Squadhelp Startup Incubator Naming Contests, is a great example of a catchy and fun name that tells you all about what the company is capable of doing for you.  

Determine Your Needs

Now that you’ve decided on a central direction, create a one or two sentence project statement to keep your naming efforts laser focused. Here are some examples:

  • We need a name that’s modern and shows we are at the top of our game and yours.
  • We need a name that shows we know what’s hot and where you should be focusing your energy.
  • We need a name that’s descriptive and shows that we can offer you some of the best features and assets.
  • We need a name that’s strong and in line with our principles of being eco and user friendly.

A lot of companies dive into their naming project head first without taking the appropriate time to set the stage for success, hoping that “creativity” and “inspiration” will swoop in and provide an amazing outcome. After 15,000 naming projects, developing hundreds of startup incubator name ideas, we believe strongly in a more systemic and strategic approach.

This is an example of a name where you’ll see what’s available and how you can get help from the company for your needs. The project statement that resulted in the brand name probably read something like this: We’re looking for a simple and strong name that helps businesses know we can do what we offer.

Find Something to Push You

Now it’s time to put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard … stylus to tablet). However you like to work, it’s time to brainstorm ideas.

Don’t censor yourself when brainstorming – There is no wrong answer when brainstorming. Just let the ideas flow. Sometimes a “bad” ideas will inspire a “great” ideas. When you’re developing name ideas, one thought leads to the next, and censoring your ideas will stop this amazing creative flow. And don’t forget to have fun.

Develop an Inspiration Deck – You can find inspiration for your company name ideas in so many places. Take a drive around town writing down your favorite names that you find, get a list of successful brands across any industry you can image using your go-to search engine, or explore winning business names ideas from crowdsourced branding contests. Building a list of inspiration is a well respected copywriting technique, and it will certainly help you develop great business name ideas as well.

When searching through startup incubator name ideas, you might be surprised and inspired by an outside the box approach like Seed Six. It’s a company that sounds like it’s starting out (seed) but it also has your back with anything you need (six).

Essentials for Your Name

From a technical naming standpoint there are some important principles that you want to keep in mind:

Is it easy to say? Unfortunately, you may have to pass on a meaningful name if it’s difficult to say. For example, the iae vowel construct of the Latin word patriae (country) could cause much confusion if used in a business name.

Is it easy to hear? Test your name by calling a friend and saying, “I’m thinking about [insert name] as the name of my business. What do you think?” If there is a long pause or the reply is “What’s the name again?” You might have an issue.

Is it easy to spell? Simple misspellings such as Lyft, Flickr, Xero can work really well for a brand. But names that are very hard to spell will hinder your marketing and communication efforts.

Is it appealing?  Is your name pleasant to see and hear? Many times, in a quest to be unique or edgy, companies will select a name that lacks appeal with the target market. Consumers should like how your name looks and sounds. If they do, it’s much more likely that they’ll want to learn more about your business and talk to friends about your brand.

Is it remarkable?  Is your name memorable, and does it start conversations? Today’s average consumer is constantly bombarded by companies and products vying for their attention and business.

Is it evocative? Is your name emotional, experiential, descriptive, elegant, witty? A name should inspire a response from your target audience.

Also remember to avoid …

Obscure names: Can your name only be understood by a few people? Don’t go for an obscure name that only a handful of your target audience will be able to recall quickly. While a small number of your customers may appreciate an obscure name that only they understand, the rest will be confused and move on.

Neutral names: Is your name too safe or too boring? While you don’t want to choose an obscure or difficult name, you also don’t want to overcorrect and select a name that simply doesn’t excite consumers. A dull name means that you won’t stand out in a sea of competitors, putting you at a disadvantage from the start.

Picture the Brand You’re Looking For

A great startup incubator name will always be less appealing than your competition’s mediocre brand. It’s very hard to look at a list of names and get excited about them. One, two, or three words on a page can often feel flat.

The ability to bring a business to life in your mind is critical to the naming process. Imagine the story. Visualize the logo. See it on your products and packaging. Without envisioning your brand, you’ll have trouble getting behind any of the business name ideas that you’ve generated.

Can you Soar Forth and accomplish something amazing? You’ll definitely want to when you see this great logo and name.

Some Effort Involved

Developing business name ideas is only the beginning of the process. There are four important name validation steps that you’ll definitely want to complete before deciding on your business name:

Running into legal issues after finally deciding on a business name can be devastating to your business. In order to reduce your risk of run-ins with another company’s legal teams or issues with Trademark filing, it is important to check for Trademark Risk before making a final decision on your name. consider that you may be infringing on someone else’s trademark. Depending on your experience with the Trademark process, you can perform this due diligence of your own. However, it’s often best, especially when the consequence could be a receiving a cease-and-desist letter, to have your potential business name ideas checked out by a licensed professionals.

Learn the three additional critical validation steps – discover how to pick a business name.

What’s In It For You?

Follow this tested process to create a business name that will become a true asset for years to come. Take the time to set the foundation for your project, develop great ideas, and validate there usability – and you’ll find a name that will attract attention, make connections, get remembered, and increase your bottom line.

Squadhelp is a one-of-a-kind platform where entrepreneurs and marketers get startup incubator name ideas (quickly and easily), and create strong brands by launching naming contests to engage hundreds of naming experts as you’re guided through our agency-level naming process, or explore our hand-picked collection of premium names available for immediate purchase.

Startup Incubator Domains for Sale
This is a name that inspires you to really try something new and get your business moving even better.

Ignite something really unique and really amazing with a name like this and a simple flame logo to compliment it.

View our full list of startup incubator domains for sale.

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