Start-up and stay up – Technology/Business incubators are the best place to start your new business.
Incubators provide comprehensive support to companies in their startup stages of development – helping entrepreneurs through the most difficult time of their business career.
Every year, more than 400,000 entrepreneurs start new businesses in the US. And 350,000 of those new businesses close their doors before year’s end. Compare this disturbing number to the success of new companies in business incubators: more than 80% of incubated companies are profitable within two years and are still doing business by the end of five years.
How do incubators do that? An incubator for businesses, just like an incubator for eggs or newborn infants, provides a safe, supportive, protective, and nurturing environment that promotes growth. It is also a dynamic center with continuing contact with fellow entrepreneurs. Incubators typically provide spaces for businesses to operate, just at or slightly below market rates. They provide an array of services that nourish start-up entrepreneurs, such as business counseling, mentoring, access to essential services and to potential investors. Incubators can also furnish shared services allowing incubator residents to cooperate with one another and reduce costs, critical needs during the start-up phase of a company.
Maine’s Applied Technology Development Centers (ATDC)
Helping New Maine Firms Introduce Tomorrow’s Technologies
Maine’s transforming economy welcomes new entrepreneurs seeking to commercialize products and services in emerging technologies. The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has established Seven Technology Development Centers across Maine that are designed to help firms meet the challenges of introducing new technology based products.
The 7 technology categories are:
- Environmental Technology
- Information Technologies
- Aquaculture and Marine Sciences
- Forestry and Agriculture Technologies
- Precision Manufacturing
- Composite Materials
The River Valley Technology Center in Rumford, Maine has been established as the leading site in Maine that is focused on incubating Precision Manufacturing Technology Enterprises.
NBIA offers professional development activities and specialized training to help business assistance professionals create and administer effective incubation programs. The Association’s public awareness activities educate entrepreneurs, public sector leaders, corporations and investors on the benefits of business incubation. NBIA also conducts research, compiles statistics, produces publications that provide hands-on approaches to developing and managing effective programs, tracks relevant legislative initiatives and maintains a speakers’ bureau and referral service. It creates partnerships with leading private-sector and public-sector entities to further the interests of the industry and its members.
Some Questions and Answers About Incubators
What is an Incubator?
An incubator is a highly robust tool for business development, as well as an incredibly powerful and flexible resource for promoting, structuring, and directing economic development.
An incubator for businesses, just like an incubator for eggs or for newborn infants, provides a safe, supportive, protective, and nurturing environment that promotes growth. Business incubators typically provide spaces for businesses to operate, just at, or slightly below market rates. They provide a variety of services that support start-up entrepreneurs, such as business counseling, mentoring, helping them to get access to different kinds of services, and facilitating access to potential investors. The incubator can also provide for shared services, allowing incubator residents to share and reduce certain costs, which is often critical during the start-up phase of a company.
The Incubator Environment Helps Businesses Survive and Thrive.
The National Business Incubator Association’s statistics show that 80% of companies in incubators are profitable by the end of two years. This compares extremely well with national statistics on non-incubated start up businesses, 80% of which are out of business within two years.
What do you mean by “Robust Tool for Business Development”?
A large part of the spirit that makes up the incubator atmosphere is created by the incubator tenants and clients. They bring an energy into the house, and provide a kind of support network for each other. We believe that one major factor that contributes to many business failures outside of incubators are due to psychological factors. Beginning entrepreneurs are usually on their own, faced with huge personal risks and uncertainties. The incubator-house atmosphere provides a support network of peers facing similar challenges. This network allows for mutual assistance and exchange of ideas and experience. The creation of this kind of community may be the most important single attribute of incubators.
A Powerful and Flexible Resource for Economic Development.
Because the incubator model is the best way yet found to nurture and launch start-up businesses, this capacity translates into a great strategy for promoting local or regional growth, creating jobs, and wealth in a community. Incubators can also be used for directing development. Incubators can be targeted to foster businesses in specific sectors as ways of promoting the growth of specific economic clusters.
Incubators: A Simple Concept Waiting to be Molded to Community Needs.
The idea behind incubators is fairly simple and straight forward. Incubators are about creating an environment to help new businesses grow. The major issues for many start-ups are cost control and access to good advice and information. Incubators help keep costs low by keeping the rents for new companies at a reasonable level, but more importantly, by allowing for companies to share necessary services, and by facilitating access to different kinds of useful services so that they can be obtained at low cost or even at no cost. But incubators are really just a tool for business development.