The Pine Entrepreneurship Center and Technology Business Incubator, now shortened to the “Pine Innovation Center” is set to open some time in 2012. Some may ask, what is an incubator? Do they work? Here is a run-down of info so you’ll be in the know…
What is an incubator?
Business incubators nurture the development of entrepreneurial companies, helping them survive and grow during the start-up and expansion periods, when they are most vulnerable. These programs provide their client companies with business support services and resources tailored to young and growing firms.
The most common goals of incubation programs are creating jobs in a community, enhancing a community’s entrepreneurial climate, retaining businesses in a community, building or accelerating growth in a local industry, and diversifying local economies. Incubators are a combination of a physical facility and the services provided. Often, the rent is reduced for the first 1-3 years of occupancy for a business locating in an incubator, and the services initially are either free or at a reduced price. There are over 1,400 incubators in North America, and the strategy originated in the late 1970’s.
Do they work?
- The National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) estimates that, in 2005 alone, North American incubators assisted more than 27,000 start-up companies that provided full-time employment for more than 100,000 workers and generated annual revenue of more than $17 billion.
- Business incubators reduce the risk of small business failures. Historically, NBIA member incubators have reported that 87 percent of all firms that have graduated from their incubators are still in business.
- NBIA members have reported that 84 percent of incubator graduates stay in their communities.
- A study by the U.S. Department of Commerce shows that incubators provide up to 20 times more jobs than community infrastructure projects such as industrial parks. The U.S. Economic Development Administration rates incubators as their most effective investment in terms of job creation.
What is the Pine incubator?
- 7,800 square feet of new, open, and adaptable space designed to house advanced technology manufacturing companies.
- Designed to house up to three companies at a time, with two interior office spaces for incubator occupants along with the open light industrial advanced technology floor.
- Connected to Pine Technical College Customized Training and Continuing Education (CE/CT) offices (in the former East Central Energy building to be remodeled).
- Located at the corner of Hillside and Main Street to create a compelling entrance experience.
- Targeted at advanced technology companies providing high wage jobs.
- Integrated with Pine Technical College to provide students with internships and to provide incubator occupants with access to faculty expertise in a number of disciplines.
- Connected to PTC CE/CT for management and for access to customized training for employees.
- Connected to the Pine City fiber optic backbone for high-speed internet.
- To be served by a network of local professionals for advice and guidance in accounting, legal services, financial expertise, marketing assistance, and other services at free or reduced costs.
What are the benefits for the region?
- Creating high-wage jobs for area citizens.
- Attracting technology-based companies to locate in area industrial parks after incubation.
- Strengthening the commercial/industrial tax base.