Best Practices and Breakthrough Models
Edited by Sven H. De Cleyn and Gunter Festel
Business incubators support the development of companies, helping them get through the early start-up phase, when they are most vulnerable. They offer their tenants a variety of support services and resources to help them to grow. What started as a stopgap solution in 1959 has turned out to be a great way to meet economic and socioeconomic needs by creating jobs, supporting technology transfer and ultimately driving new industry sectors. It is estimated that there are around 7,000 incubators worldwide. In the US, the number of incubators has increased from 12 in 1980 to 1,250 in 2012 (NBIA, 2014). Incubators usually apply a screening process to assess the market potential of prospects before allowing them to join the program. Most incubation models focus on start-up projects, while some focus more on technology development. The range of support given to selected and incubated start-up projects is wide and comprises services such as provision of infrastructure, administrative services, network, education, coaching, etc. Business incubation is the first corporate development step in a company’s life cycle, as shown in Figure 7.1.
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