Ready For Takeoff

The Choice Is Yours

Just as no two entrepreneurs are the same, no two incubators are alike, either. To choose the right home for your budding business, get answers to these questions:

  • What is the incubator's mission? Is management interested in revitalizing a certain area of the community, or do they want more out-of-state and international action? If import/export is your business, the latter incubator would be your best bet.
  • What experiences have other tenants had? Talk to other tenants about what it's like in the incubator. Their stories will speak volumes.
  • What's the incubator's track record? Ask for statistics. How many jobs has the incubator created? How many companies have survived outside the incubator's walls, and how well have they done over the long haul?
  • What are its policies and procedures? Are some services free of charge? How long can you stay? Is there a graduated rent structure as your firm matures? Does the incubator take royalties on ownership rights? If your business goes belly-up, can you leave easily?
  • Do you like the facilities? Do the office suites and amenities meet your needs? Are there regular seminars and business training programs?

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This article was originally published in the February 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Ready For Takeoff.

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