Incubator Goes Online

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This story appears in the October 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Georgia -- The advanced Development Center, a traditional in , has taken the incubator concept into a new dimension with the creation of Netcelerate, an Internet-based help center.

To qualify for Netcelerate's free services, you must own a Georgia technology company dedicated to growth and job creation. Available assistance includes a discussion forum where entrepreneurs can pose questions to experts. There is also a resource library called "Tools & Information" that contains downloadable legal forms and links to other sites.

Those preparing a financing package may find the "Roadshow Review" investment tips and guidelines helpful. In addition, the site lists prequalified vendors and service providers as well as a directory of business owners, many of whom are interested in partnerships or . The site also lets accredited investors privately preview executive summaries for potential investments.

For more information on the Netcelerate help center, visit

Jobs For Welfare Recipients

California/Ohio -- Two new welfare-to-work training programs in San Francisco and Cleveland help small firms find work-ready employees.

The San Francisco Small Network, Juma Ventures, Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) and the Welfare-to-Work Partnership combined their resources to create Job Network. This model training program teaches participants skills such as punctuality, communication and computer literacy.

Once an individual is placed with a business, Juma or JVS gives that person a full year of job retention support. For more information, call Amy Parkhurst at (415) 247-6572 or visit

Cleveland's Spirit of Hospitality program is a two-year pilot program designed to introduce welfare recipients to careers in the hospitality industry. Coordinated by the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland, the program offers potential employees 10 weeks of employment training that include a two-week externship at a specific restaurant, hotel or motel.

Business owners interested in participating should call David Gilbert at (216) 621-4110.

Funding For SBIR Proposals

National -- Looking for some seed captial to help you put together a competitive proposal before applying for a Small Innovation Research (SBIR) grant? A number of states now offer small sums of money called Phase Zero grants that do just that.

Funded by the National Science Foundation under the auspices of the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, Phase Zero SBIR grants are currently available in Maine, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. A number of other states are considering similar funding programs to help small businesses gain a competitive edge.

Following is a list of the Phase Zero programs. Applicants must be local business owners or university researchers who meet SBIR program elegibility requirements: the business must be for-profit, and a U.S. citizen must have a majority ownership share (51 percent or more) in the business. The project should also have a strong possibility of winning SBIR funding.

Amount awarded:
up to $5,000
Deadlines: quarterly on January 15, April 15, July 15 and October 15
How to apply: Contact David Patch at (207) 621-6350.

Amount awarded:
$2,000 to $5,000
Deadline: Call for deadline information.
How to apply: Call Eric Johnson at (707) 777-3970.

Amount awarded:
up to $2,000
Deadline: Call for deadline information.
How to apply: Contact Mel Ustad at (605) 256-5555.

Amount awarded:
up to $5,000
Deadline: Call for deadline information.
How to apply: Contact Janet Franz at (802) 656-7969.

Amount awarded:
up to $10,000
Deadline: Applications are accepted year-round; there is a one-week approval time.
How to apply: Contact the Wyoming Business Council at (307) 766-6798.


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