Incubators nurture young firms, helping them to survive and grow during the start-up period when they are most vulnerable. Incubators provide hands-on management assistance, access to financing and orchestrated exposure to critical business or technical support servic es. We also offer entrepreneurial firms shared office services, access to equipment, flexible leases and expandable space — all under one roof.
Developing a product or service is only the beginning of developing a company. In order to achieve success with that product or service, the c ompany must understand all of the requirements necessary for success, including management issues, marketing and sales strategies, cash flow management, and acquisition of capital. Business incubation provides entrepreneurs with the expertise, networks, and tools necessary to make their ventures a success. According to the Impact of Incubator Investments Study , 1997, 87 percent of incubator graduates remain in business. Startup firms served by incubators increased sales by $240,000 annually and added an average of 3.7 full-time and part-time jobs per firm. (National Business Incubation Association)
What type of company should consider locating in an incubator?
Business incubation is designed to support technology companies with high growth potential. The Innovation Center is best categorized as a mixed-use technology incubator. This means that companies will encompass diverse technologies from software development to microwave photonics.
At what point in an entrepreneurial start-up process should the applicant apply to the Incubator for rental space?
Start-up companies considered for occupancy should be legally organized and generally show sufficient funds to support the efforts of the enterprise for at least one year.
At times of full occupancy, are there other avenues of help available to start-up entrepreneurs?
The Incubator includes two types of tenants: those who physically occupy office and/or laboratory space at the Innovation Center and "virtual" tenants. Virtual tenants do not occupy office or lab space, but do gain specified Incubator privileges such as access to the Incubator's business address, use of common facilities such as copier, fax, mail and package delivery, and resource/library with Internet-accessible computers. Virtual tenants may also use the Incubator's conference rooms by appointment and have access to the mentoring/consulting/networking resources of the Incubator Manager.
When are companies expected to "graduate" out of the Incubator?
text">Since the first three years of any start-up are typically the most critical, most companies should plan to take advantage of the Incubator's affordable rent and business services for three to five years. As businesses become self-sufficient enough to move out of the Incubator and contribute to the economic growth of the region, other early-stage enterprises take their place. Graduates are encouraged to continue drawing upon the mentoring/consulting/networking resources of the Incubator Manager and tenant community.