According to a 1998 study by the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA), there are 587 incubators in North America helping thousands of fledgling businesses take flight every year.
While 43 percent of incubators are open to all types of businesses, the next largest category is technology, with 25 percent of facilities serving high-tech companies.
Following are some of the newest incubators that either recently opened or will be up and running shortly.
- STARTech, a for-profit incubator operated by the Richardson Chamber of Commerce in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, provides start-up services and leases space to emerging technology firms.
Entrepreneurs receive marketing and technology development help as well as other business assistance. In addition, companies can take advantage of a seed fund that makes investments of $25,000 to $200,000; there is also a venture capital network for companies seeking $1 million or more.
- The Georgia State Legislature is funding three new high-tech incubators, all operated by the Georgia Research Alliance.
The first incubator focuses on companies involved in the pharmaceutical industry and will be located on the campus of Georgia State University in Atlanta beginning in January.
The second is a bio-engineering incubator scheduled to open in September 1999 on the Georgia Institute of Technology campus in Atlanta.
The University of Georgia in Athens is hosting the third incubator, which is scheduled to open in December 1999. It will focus on plant and animal technology.
- The Enterprise Development Center is a nonprofit mixed-use incubator in Louisville, Kentucky, that's operated by LCDB Enterprise Group. The facility is also located in the Louisville Empowerment Zone, which enables tenants to take advantage of a revolving loan fund.
- The Phillips Eco-Enterprise Center in Minneapolis is a virtual incubator that's becoming an actual facility in June 1999. It targets renewable-energy and other environmental firms and will provide business and management consulting in such areas as marketing, finance, and product development and positioning. Firms interested in applying must submit a business plan, which will be individually reviewed for viability of the product or service and enterprise capabilities.
For a more complete list of incubators, contact the NBIA at (740) 593-4331 or http://www.nbia.org