In this article, the authors present STarmac, a pre-incubator developed by the Swiss Applied Science University of Canton Vaud (HEIG-VD), which aims to support young founders in the development of innovative business ideas by providing them with the tools to manage market and technology risk. The article describes the STarmac pre-incubator and its components and outlines a process for stimulating and supporting entrepreneurship for university spin-offs. The authors introduce metrics for the assessment of STarmac’s performance, centred on team development, to enable continuous improvement and provide better support to participants. They conducted two studies, one qualitative on the requirements of the participants for pre-incubation and one quantitative on the impact of the supporting programme to develop entrepreneurial skills. While still preliminary, the results from these studies confirm the authors’ hypotheses on the key success factors for effective pre-incubation in the context of university spin-offs.