Business incubation is a world-wide accepted economic development model that identifies promising young businesses and technologies and brings resources to those companies to grow them more rapidly and stronger than they might on their own. There are over 1,400 business incubators in North America and thousands more worldwide that house and coach those entrepreneurs and their management teams and employees through their most vulnerable early years. Most incubator refer to their incubator companies as “Members” or “Clients”.
Over 90% of U.S. business incubators are managed by, or are a non-profit organization and are often supported either by state or local economic development or educational entities or through a combined effort among those groups.
The clear majority of incubators are in buildings where young businesses are actually housed. Incubators often have a few seasoned stable business professionals who are able to provide guidance and support. But it takes strong local support from the business community to make a truly successful incubator. Incubators rely upon community professionals and mentors to provide assistance to their members.
Usually, young companies (start-up or growing) engaged in light manufacturing, technology development, service industries, media, artisans, food products, etc. -- almost any type of company would be considered as long as the entrepreneur has a growth vision for the business. AND ARE COACHABLE
The key components of a successful application will be submission of a business plan, the entrepreneur’s passion, experience in the field, the growth opportunity for the business, and most importantly, the management team. A business is never successful without an innovative management team. Investors never invest exclusively in a technology but invest in a management team that can commercialize technology or bring a good idea to the market place. The management team of the incubator will review each application to meet these criteria prior to submission to the Admissions Committee.
An incubator is much more than a traditional office space. It can be compared to a small, intensive learning location which also houses its students. A Best Practices Incubator charges for the incubation program based upon the size and attributes of the space needed for a company and its employees. There are value-adds that are included in the charge, but at a greatly reduced cost compared to the benefit received.