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No substitute for good advice: At Boulder Technology Incubator, custom-made teams are key

by Andrea Gibson

February 1999

It's always challenging to sum up success in one sentence, to say succinctly why someone achieved excellence or something became a hit. Jerry Donahue doesn't have to think for long, though, when you ask him what made the Boulder Technology Incubator (BTI) the 1998 NBIA Technology Incubator of the Year. "Our hallmark is putting good advisors around companies," he says, without pause.

Paul Ray, CEO of Image Guided Technology Inc., one of BTI's public graduate companies, agrees. "What strikes me about BTI is it has its tentacles and support throughout the community," he says. The incubator has drawn to itself an exceptional group of directors and advisors who provide detailed advice to companies and support the incubator in myriad ways.

The community, in turn, has become a beneficiary. BTI's clients from its two facilities generated revenues of $125 million in 1997 and have created more than 125 jobs in the Boulder-Longmont area. The incubator has helped client companies raise more than $73 million in third-party investment capital.

Since BTI's inception in 1989, more than 50 companies have graduated, creating nearly 700 jobs. All told, the incubator has had a $300 million impact on direct and indirect jobs in the region, according to Donahue. About 80 percent of the incubator's clients graduate, and 80 percent of those have a positive fund balance when they leave. Four of the companies have gone public: Bolder Technologies, Coral Systems, Requisite Inc. and Image Guided Technology.

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Keywords: economic development, economic impact of incubation, service provider network, technology incubator

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